The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London (UCL) hosted their third annual summer short course exploring the linkages between emotional well-being and physical health outcomes July 10-14, 2023. The course was held in person at Harvard University. With a target audience of junior scholars (junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows) and doctoral-level graduate students, the five-day course provides attendees with a systematic and rigorous overview of the relationship between positive emotional well-being and physical health, drawing on a variety of empirical methods with careful consideration of measurement issues. The course runs annually, alternating between UCL and Harvard T.H. Chan in Boston, and will involve core faculty from both universities as well as from other institutions.
The current global health crisis provides an unexpected backdrop for our work and throws into relief some key issues worthy of attention in the moment. The course, which partially focuses on identifying positive assets that promote health, including understanding critical components that underlie not only well-being but also resilience, is particularly relevant now. This seems an opportune moment to bring together what we know about well-being and resilience, and to share resources that will make it possible to learn more as the situation unfolds.
The course is interdisciplinary in nature, and will cover topics including epidemiology, genetics, interventions, social determinants, biobehavioural processes, and methodology. By providing state-of-the-art, evidence-based knowledge, the course aims to prepare and inspire a future generation of scholars and researchers to work in this field. Upon completion of the course, participants will have a solid understanding of recent research and discourse on the linkages between emotional well-being and physical health outcomes and will be prepared to use this information to inform their own education, research, and teaching. In addition, participants will begin to build an interdisciplinary network of potential partners and collaborators with shared interests in the field.