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What’s Love Got To Do With It? Social love as an approach to public health and violence prevention

8th April 2024, 9:30am - 10:30am , Online

This event is jointly organised by the FPH Emergency Services SIG and the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA).

The term ‘social love’ describes the motivation and actions of a system, organisation, or institution (and people working within them), for the purpose of the collective good, increasing the wellbeing of another, self, community, and the environment. With a collective affective quality, it involves care, respect, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, and trust, valuing the other, self, community, and environment, and remaining open and receptive.

Public health systems dominated by biomedical models of care often neglect ‘social love’, to the potential detriment of those providing and using public health services. With mounting evidence that human connection and compassion is associated with the delivery of high-quality healthcare, increased health outcomes, and societal wellbeing, now is the time to recognise the unlocked potential of social love as a concept that could enhance public health discourse, introducing a new way to analyse problems, and deliver interventions. The concept of social love goes beyond traditional concepts of “compassionate care” in taking an asset-based and systems-level approach, focused on rethinking public health narratives, systems and interventions in order to elevate protective factors across populations.

We will also consider the role of power and civic engagement in promoting public health and socially loving approaches. Distributions of power is a key determinant of health; power imbalances in society have detrimental impacts on population health and are a key driver of inequalities. Considering the community-level impacts and solutions to disempowerment and power imbalances can contribute towards creating systems and environments which form part of the social love approach.

This webinar will demonstrate the potential value of social love and power as concepts to improve public health practice and decision-making in order to promote population health and wellbeing, highlighting the positive impact social love could have on addressing key public health issues, such as violence prevention.

Several of FPH’s Special Interest Groups have joined together to organise a series of lunchtime learning webinars during Global Public Health Week (GPHW), which will take place from 8 to 12 April. The theme of this year’s GPHW is “Fostering Peace as a Prerequisite for Equitable Health”.

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