Healthcare Clowning International Meeting (HCIM) 2018
It was a conference of a special kind, the Healthcare Clowning International Meeting (HCIM) 2018, which took place at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration from April 4 - 6, 2018.
400 participants from over 50 countries cheered already at the first appearance of the conferencier Helfried - alias Clowndoctor Christian Hölbling, who welcomed the guests in emphasized Viennese English. The cheerfulness of the interactions, however, underlined the seriousness and professionalism that lead health clowning into a new dimension.
The largest exchange of knowledge on 'Healthcare Clowning' between clowns, scientists, doctors, international aid organisations and patients so far included panels, workshops and presentations on the diverse fields of application and the effect of health clowning for the psychosocial care of people in pain and suffering. Dr. Peter Ahlburg from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark explains why clowns are becoming an integral part of medical facilities: "Unfortunately, the psychological and emotional aspect is often neglected in everyday life. Doctors and nursing staff lack the time and know-how for this. Clown colleagues help us to focus on the work because they ensure a relaxed atmosphere - and that for everyone involved".
At the end of the conference, the participants were convinced that the positive impact of clowning is only just beginning and that the fields of application will continue to develop considerably. Monica Culen, founder of ROTE NASEN, ended the conference with the call "Go out with your art, the world is waiting for you!