International Health Humanities Network Membership

Lalit Kumar Upadhyay PHD

Dr Lalit Kumar Upadhyay PHD, DYA

Founder President United World Against Diabetes

United World Against Diabetes (UWAD) is a non-government organisation fighting against diabetes in India. The mission of UWAD is to promote diabetes care, control, prevention, awareness and working to increase access of essential medicines and insulin for diabetic people. We are advocate for children with Type 1 diabetes and women living with diabetes.

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Julia Vaughan

Julia has worked as a painter and photographer for over 30 years. She has taught Art at secondary level and Historical and Theoretical Studies and Design Management at undergraduate level in departments of Art and Design.

She is interested in the potential of the arts to enhance wellbeing and protect good mental health. She has been active in the organisation of Wirksworth Festival, Derbyshire and has run community arts projects. 

Currently, she is working as an Art Psychotherapist with students in an academy school in Nottinghamshire.



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Sara Vilar-Lluch

I am a linguistics PhD student in the University of East Anglia, I hold an MA in English Language and Applied Linguistics (University of Huddersfield) and a degree in Philosophy (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

Research interests:

Representation of mental illness in intitutional and laypeople's discourses and self-representation.
Linguistic discourse analysis, Sytemic Functional Linguistics, metaphor.

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William Viney

William Viney is Postdoctral Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical Humanities and the Department of English Studies, Durham University.

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Nicholas Vogelpoel

Medical Humanities Portfolio Manager at the Wellcome Trust

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Nicholas Vogelpoel

I started as an applied arts practitioner and a specialist support disability support worker. I became interested in the potential for narrative, storytelling and reconstructions of identity to practically shape and reconfigure experiences of disability, citizenship and recovery. Through practice and research into the relationship between contemporary performance making, autopathology, and catharsis, I intended to build a framework through which personal amnesty could be achieved.

I started an inclusive youth theatre company for young people experiencing disability to have access to arts-based training, with the intention of promoting the applied learning of communication skills for participants embarking on their adult lives.

I have worked as a researcher, educator, manager, practitioner, coach, facilitator and advocate in Arts-in-Health, Community Development and Disability Arts throughout my short career.

I have recently completed my PhD researching alternative and translational approaches to health evaluation in the disability sector, in order to actively critique current models of health evaluation used in the social care sector, specifically in terms of promoting social inclusion (or lack thereof). My research interests and specialties are in the intersections that can exist between health and arts work, specifically in the re-alignment of pathological approaches to health evaluation.

I am interested in the potential for applied arts work to enhance and improve the experience of health and well-being for young people experiencing disabilities, transitioning from child funding, to adult funding. The confusing and uneasy relationship between policy and lived experience in the disability sector can be explained and understood through engagement with new methodological processes.

I work in the spaces between arts and health practice, process and research. The intersections fascinate me, and the possibilities for improving the health and wellbeing of the people I interact with, in the programs I coordinate, are exciting and continuously evolving.

I am interested in pursuing a new line of research concerned with the relationship between narratives of amnesty, the pedagogy of reconstructed health identities, and the disillusion of trans-institutional policy and procedure in the disability sector, particularly in the cyclical environment of current approaches to mental health care.

I have worked for a range of different educational, NGO, charity, community and health-based organisations in a range or roles. I enjoy diversity in the workplace, and in the world, and intend to continue my work in this area, until social inclusion is wiped from government policy, and is indeed made redundant by its own success.


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Sandra Walker

Senior Teaching Fellow in Mental Health at Southampton University, Professional musician and childrens book publisher

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Brian Walter

Brian Walter is Associate Professor of English and Director of Convocations at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, which will begin implementing a new Bachelor of Science in Health Humanities degree in the fall of 2014 for which he is designing courses on mental health and illness in literature and in film. He is the director of the documentary "Stay More: The World of Donald Harington" (U. of Arkansas Press, 2013) and the author of more than fifty articles, essays, book chapters, presentations, and reviews that have appeared in (among others) "Boulevard," "The Southern Quarterly," and "Music, Sound and the Moving Image."  (More information is available at 

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Laura Waters

Laura is Arts Programme Manager for Air arts at Derby Hospitals, Air arts runs twice yearly visual arts exhibitions, weekly music performances and a rolling programme of arts participation projects to enhance wellbeing and recovery for patients in hospital.  Air arts seeks to promote a holistic approach to healthcare, embedding the arts into the medical model and working in close partnership with hospital staff to ensure effective, meaningful, successful creative interactions between staff, patients and visitors.

Laura has a degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Environmental Psychology and holds a Licentiate Diploma in Music Teaching from the Royal Schools of Music. Laura is a fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and a member of the UK arts in health research network.

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Sara Watkin

Dr Sara Watkin Biography

Sara is fascinated by the effect of cultural influences and illness narratives on health behavior, and the use of the creative arts to achieve shifts in perception. She is an Honorary Physician to the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine.

She completed her post-graduate training at The London School of Contemporary Dance, trained in Psychiatry and General Practice in Glasgow and London (whilst the Osteopath for Cirque du Soleil and London Studio Centre), and returned to Scotland in 2006. Whilst a GP in Irvine Welsh’s home territory Sara questioned traditional medical assumptions regarding how early childhood experiences shape one’s mind, personality, relationships, and nervous system throughout life. She was appointed as Medical Adviser to Scottish Adoption and Barnardo's Scotland, and joined the Board of Directors at North Edinburgh Arts.

Sara developed her interest and expertise in chronic pain, with support from Lorimer Moseley and David Butler ("Explain Pain"). She uses narrative, metaphor and imagery to help people process trauma, understand their pain, and develop healthy relationships and resilience.

Sara believes that the new computerized GP language of payment-linked boxes is a barrier to therapeutic relationship exchanges. She is committed to a bio-psychosocial model, effective multidisciplinary team working, and creative, culturally sensitive assets-based approaches to community health.

Sara was the GP for the women in HMP Edinburgh, remains on the SWGWO and CPG Families Affected by Imprisonment, and spends the rest of her clinic time as an independent GP and Osteopath.

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  • Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • The  institue of mental health nottingham
  • National Institute of Health
  • Centre for Advanced Studies
  • The University of Nottingham United Kingdom China Malaysia
  • De Montfort University Leicester
  • OPPNET Basic Behaviour & Social Science Opportunity Network