With the launch of the Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing (IPHW) in February, the University community, together with the wider Essex community made of key local, national, and international partners, has laid the foundation stone for enhancing interdisciplinary work and impact, to strive for better health and wellbeing for all.

The IPHW is a concrete response to the urgent need for a space where research excellence, impact and innovation come together to tackle real-world challenges, as the Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster reminded the audience at the launch. Tackling health inequalities, and building back fairer societies at local, national, and global levels, is one of the IPHW priorities. The IPHW is a place where researchers are committed to pushing boundaries, reaching across disciplines and providing authoritative research, policy recommendations and insights that improve lives.

How the IPHW will achieve its mission to ensure better health and wellbeing for all builds on the already well-established community of experts in public health and social care. At the launch, Professor Vicky Joffe, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care, highlighted how “public health is about supporting everyone. Individuals, families, communities, organisations and societies. Its focus is on improving, protecting and promoting the health, both physical and mental, and wellbeing of us all. This very idea of health promotion is at the essence of the Institute and is also the essence of the School of Health and Social Care”.

Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing Launch from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Now that the Institute is up and running, the core IPHW leadership team and its research fellows will be focusing on bringing together communities and stakeholders across a broad range of research centres and clusters to address the multiple, complex, root causes of ill health.

To ensure the IPHW research is connected to the real world and that it can provide clear responses to every day challenges we are working in partnership with long-lasting partners such as Provide, and building new local, national, and international partnerships.

As the work of the IPHW now gathers momentum following the insightful and thought-provoking launch, we are looking to develop the Institute’s strategy and proactively take forward its four pillars, through interdisciplinary projects. The IPHW is here to support the efforts of the Essex community - our internal community of expert researchers, and the wider community of individuals and organisations, with different remits, that work daily to improve the health and wellbeing of the population.

We, as a community, acknowledge that the public health and wellbeing challenges we are facing are not simple to tackle, but they are within reach if we work together, and the IPHW is committed to translating its bold ambitions into an achievable strategy.