Meet the keynote speakers at HCIM: Christopher Bailey
Christopher Bailey knows the true impact that arts in healthcare can have. For example, he did a concert with Lady Gaga to gain awareness for healthcare and boost healthcare workers during the pandemic. He found a way to send an important message, the importance of healthcare, through arts at a critical point of the pandemic. Christopher Bailey is the Lead of Arts & Health at the World Health Organization and will be one of the keynote speakers at HCIM 2021.
Improving health through art performances
'In my work, I’ve talked to different types of performers who have been involved in different aspects of care. Part of my job is to work
at the level of healthcare arts-based interventions to improve health. This could be anything, from mental health interventions to vaccine hesitancy.'
‘Meeting people where they are. No matter where they are, emotionally’
'For example, in Africa I’ve worked with the Ebola-virus to find out how we could use performances and healthcare arts to combat stigma and encourage handwashing. Another aspect of my job is working with the global media, the concert with Lady Gaga was part of that aspect.'
Acknowledging the feelings of the patient
'One of the themes that has occurred in healthcare clowning that I found very interesting was ‘meeting people where they are. No matter where they are, emotionally’. You don’t play happy music just to try to make somebody happy: that could be infuriating and can have the opposite effect. You have to begin by acknowledging and validating what they’re actually feeling.'
‘You don’t play happy music just to try to make somebody happy’
'So, if somebody is sad, as a clown, I can come and be sad with them. And people recognize it as humorous but also affirming. We’re not mocking them, we’re connecting. Because as a clown, you automatically have permission to behave in way that might not be normal or acceptable.'
Clowning opens up communication
'The clinical clown group Elderflowers once told me this: when an Alzheimer’s patient suddenly walks out of the room, a clown can walk with them and it will lighten the tension that might be in the room. It opens up communication and it allows people not only a new perspective, but enjoyment in the moment. Knowing this, I’m not just hoping to bring something to the HCIM, I’m also hoping to learn from all the people there.'