NHS Staff – Who is Caring for You? Shifting to a Salutogenic mindset

Four years ago, I completed a tender document for an automotive company looking for a partner to deliver a strand of work entitled Health & Leadership.  If I am honest, most tender documents I find quite tedious to plough through, so it was interesting to come across a word that I had never heard before.  The word was salutogenesis and this word has now become an essential theme in what Optima-life delivers.

So what does it mean? In a nutshell, salutogenesis can be described as the actions that allow people to be a bit better a bit more often.  In the world of health, it is about actions that promote and improve rather than cure or prevent.   Underpinning the actions is a philosophy that calls for comprehensibility, meaningfulness and manageability.

The table below shows the differences between a salutogenic approach and a pathogenic one.

In the western world, it seems that we have much more of a pathological approach to health.  This may be driven by science, culture, demand and funding.  I just wonder if we can encourage a salutogenic approach to be a bit more ‘mainstream’, not just with patients but with ourselves.

#caringforcarers #peakperformance   #nhs  #salutogenesis

Simon Shepard is CEO of Optima-life, optimising human performance and resilience – he can be contacted on