Opportunities & Events

Call for Contributions: Culture and Mental Health International Conference, Ghent

Location: Ghent, Belgium | Start Date: 30 March, 2024


The second Culture & Mental Health international conference will take place in Ghent, Belgium on 28 and 29 November 2024. This conference seeks to promote learning, discussion and debate around cultural interventions aimed at improving the wellbeing of people recovering from mental health difficulties or people in vulnerable situations. The focus of this edition is on supporting the mental wellbeing of forcibly displaced people through art and culture.


Call for contributions

We are looking for proposals from people working on creative, art-based, innovative or out-of-the-box projects, connected to one of the strands outlined above, in a research or operational capacity that can contribute to this conference. You can contribute through formal presentations or workshops. The contributions are to be given in English.


Paper is presented in a presentation that uses reference to visual aids in PowerPoint or PDF format. The papers will be put together in thematic sessions. A session consists of a minimum of 3 papers, with the possibility of questions and discussion at the end of each session


A workshop offers a practical, hands-on demonstration or training in a particular method or aspect of interventions. Workshops are to be given during a single session of 90 minutes.

You can submit a proposal for a presentation or workshop (maximum 300 words) until 30 March 2024.

All proposals will be reviewed by the conference programme committee that consists of an international panel of experts coming from different fields and people with lived experience. We expect to inform all those who have put forward a proposal the result of their deliberations in May 2024. Accepted proposals receive a free full ticket to attend the conference.

Submit your proposals here

Conference Aim

In a report in 2022 the EU and WHO call for support for the mental wellbeing of forcibly displaced people through art and culture : “People displaced because of natural disasters, persecution, conflict, generalised violence or human rights violations invariably experience significant loss, physical hardships and other stressors that can lead to psychological distress. A large body of evidence shows how forcibly displaced people contribute positively to society. This potential can be further enhanced by ensuring that they are in good physical and mental health. Therefore, according to the report, it is important to support the arts, as investing in the field is an investment in the mental, physical and social health of forcibly displaced people.”

This conference wants to bring together individuals from the public, academic, third sector and voluntary sectors, to share experiences, practices and knowledge about the importance and impact of the arts, reading, heritage and creativity on improving mental health, wellbeing and resilience of refugees.

A Symbolic Venue

The Dr Guislain Museum is an obvious choice as a venue for this conference. Housed in the oldest mental asylum in Belgium, which dates back to 1857, surrounded by a mental health hospital. This museum aims to break down the many prejudices that still define what is mental illness and what is ‘normal’.

More than a conference

A journey to the amazing city of Ghent for this conference is more than worthwhile. But as an extra we’re going to offer the participants exclusive pre-conference events organised in unique locations in Ghent and an exciting social programme.

Click here for more information