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Music & Motherhood Meeting

WHO Europe and the Lab co-organized this full-day meeting at UN City in Copenhagen, highlighting a multi-country case study using music and singing to support new mothers experiencing postnatal depression.


6 October 2023


UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark

Event Organiser


UN Affiliate

Hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Lab, this international conference at UN City in Copenhagen delved into the relationship between music and motherhood, as well as arts and health and social prescribing more broadly. The largest study of its kind by WHO, Music and Motherhood spanned five cities and engaged participants in four languages, looking at the positive health effects of group singing on new mothers with symptoms of postpartum depression. The conference was attended by the researchers and mothers who participated in the historic study, as well as Jakob Engel-Schmidt (Danish Minister of Culture), with talks from Ameer Shaheed (WHO consultant), and researchers Katey Warran and Callum Smith, who presented an overview of the findings, moderated by Dr Nisha Sajnani (Founding Co-Director, JAHL). The event, supported by the Central Denmark Region and in collaboration the Lab and the Behavioural and Cultural Insights Unit at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, explored how WHO European member states could integrate art-based interventions into healthcare practices.


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Panelists of the Music & Motherhood meeting

Clowns performing during the Music and Motherhood meeting

Dr. Nils Fietje (Lab Co-Director) leading a workshop during the Music and Motherhood meeting

Musical demonstration during the Music and Motherhood gathering

Danish Minister of Culture Jakob Engel-Schmidt addressing the Music and Motherhood audience

Poetry reading during Music and Motherhood gathering

Group singing workshop at the Music and Motherhood event

Music and Motherhood audience engaging with music demonstrations

Panelists addressing the Music and Motherhood gathering

Musical demonstration at the Music and Motherhood meeting


Jakob Engel Schmidt 500

Jakob Engel-Schmid

Minister for Culture, Denmark

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Nils Fietje, PhD

Founding Co-Director, Jameel Arts & Health Lab

Katrine Bach Habersaat

Katrine Bach Habersaat

Regional Advisor, Behavioural and Cultural Insights

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Robb Butler

Director of Division of Communicable Diseases & Environment and Health, WHO

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Dr. Nisha L Sajnani

Founder of Arts and Health

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Anni Syrjäläinen

Senior Advisor, The Nordisk Kulturfond


Christopher Bailey

Founding Co-director, Jameel Arts & Health Lab