South Australia is recognised as the nation’s leader in building wellbeing and positive psychological health. For our state, it began with a deep dive into the science: thousands of South Australians were introduced to the latest wellbeing science in 2012, driving a groundswell of interest in building psychological health and wellbeing in schools, community, local government, state government and organisations.
Building on this critical momentum, the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre was founded in 2014, with the purpose of translating the science of psychological health and wellbeing into systematic real-world practice, in individuals and society.
Why? The cost of mental illness in Australia is estimated to be $190 billion a year, equivalent to 12% of our gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, 1 in 4 of our young people suffers from mental illness in any given year, and in Australia we lose 9 million working days from it annually. It is the key issue for our population, our economy, and our collective quality of life.
This is not where it stops. At any given time, around 25% of the population experience low levels of wellbeing without the presence of mental illness. That’s over 400,000 South Australians who are not living life to the fullest. This affects us personally, it affects our family and friends, and it affects to community. And the worst thing: it is preventable.
Our work is focused on wellbeing measurement, interventions and the systematic building of better mental health, at scale. Being part of SAHMRI allows us to stay informed and actively contribute to the latest evidence on mental health and wellbeing; evidence which we translate into the projects we conduct and the services we offer.
We have been and are actively conducting wellbeing projects in a various groups and industries, including but not limited to corrections, health services staff, emergency services, schools, and other public and private sector organisations. Our work targets the general community, workforces, aged populations and disadvantaged and at-risk youth. We work with healthy and sick populations.
This broad approach was taken on purpose.
We are on a mission to prove that wellbeing can be built across a whole society, irrespective of disease, no matter who you are. We have a vision of global leadership in building wellbeing at scale and our intent to scaffold a new psychological health and wellbeing industry in Australia is, via the invaluable input from our partner organisations, our clients and our research participants, being achieved.