Linking Learning and Health - new good practice guide from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
One of the main themes of this year's Adult Learners' Week (15-21 May) is the positive impact learning can have on our health. A new good practice guide, 'Winning Hearts and Minds', from NIACE, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, details how to promote health and well-being through participation in adult learning, by setting up and running projects which link learning and health.
'Winning Hearts and Minds' follows on from the success of the 'Prescriptions for Learning' project - an initiative that bases Learning Advisors in GPs' surgeries or health centres to take referrals of individuals and then work with them to access appropriate learning opportunities. The book incorporates case studies and quotes from learners and practitioners, and includes contact details of leading members of existing projects and useful websites.
Kathryn James, Development Officer for Learning and Health at NIACE and author of 'Winning Hearts and Minds' said, "This guide shows you everything you need to know about linking learning and health and will give you ideas on how to win over policy makers, funders, fellow professionals and potential learners to get your project up and running in a sustainable way."
She continued, "There is so much evidence which proves how learning can positively impact on our health and well-being. In fact it makes perfect sense to invigorate the mind rather than simply resorting to only prescribing medicine and pills."
The author Kathryn James is available for interview on 0116 204 4281
Notes to Editors
1. 'Winning Hearts and Minds: How to promote health and well-being through participation in adult learning', written by Kathryn James, is published by NIACE, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (ISBN 1 86201 159 1) and is priced £9.95. It is available to buy online at www.niace.org.uk/Publications/W/Winning.htm
2. Kathryn James is the Development Officer for Learning and Health at NIACE which involves promoting participation in learning for people with poor health and well-being and evaluating the impact of learning on health. Kathryn has a background in guidance and teaching and prior to working at NIACE she worked in FE where she set up and managed a Mental Health Support Service, which enabled mental health service users to access guidance, learning and support.
3. Quality of life and health issues are areas of focus for this year's Adult Learners' week: men and women are living for longer but illness and disability are increasing. The World Health Organisation has predicted that, by 2020, depression will have overtaken heart disease to become the single biggest illness in the world. These effects are not necessarily spread equally across socio-economic groups and adult learning can help lessen the prevalence and impact of these illnesses. There is also a role for adult learning in the area of "health literacy" and keeping brains active and stimulated in old age.
4. Review copies of 'Winning Hearts and Minds' are available to Editors on Approval from Elisabeth Prince, NIACE Publications Marketing Assistant, Tel: +44 (0)116 204 2832 Email:
5. Adult Learners' Week, 15-21 May 2004, is the annual celebration of adult learning in the UK and is organised in England by NIACE, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. It is supported by the Department for Education and Skills and the European Social Fund. Website: www.alw.org.uk