Professor Phil Hanlon, expert in public health at Glasgow University, quoted in an article by Helen Puttick in The Herald newspaper (22 March 2010), says that the ‘best shot’ at an explanation for the chronic ill-health in the Glasgow is ‘a series of factors to do with the social, cultural, political history of the city which manifests itself in chronic stress, relationship issues, attitudinal issues and behavioural issues. These biological, relational, environmental and cultural things are combining in a particularly toxic way for Glasgow.’ Comparisons with other cities (particularly Liverpool and Manchester) unexpectedly showed that levels of deprivation did not alone account for the poor health stats in Glasgow.
Interesting that ‘relationship issues’ are seen by Professor Hanlon as potentially part of the explanation. We might conclude that working on our skilfulness in relationships could contribute to improving health, in Glasgow, at least. This might ring true with on-the-ground experience of a city in which talking about something bad that’s happened, like an accident, is commonly employed as a means of establishing common ground with other people. Focusing on the good things instead might help more than our state of mind.
To read the Herald article go to http://bit.ly/dhT1IN.