Wellbeing & Resilience
Government’s around the world are now realising the importance of measuring and actively supporting the wellbeing of their residents to promote resilient, productive and engaged communities.
Wellbeing is a sense of life satisfaction and general happiness that comes from having purpose, self-awareness and positive engagement with others according to Gabrielle Kelly, Director of the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Resilience on the other hand, can be defined as our ability to adjust to change, cope with stress, and learn and grow from adversity. The two concepts go hand in hand – the greater our sense of wellbeing, the more resilient we are.
The City of Adelaide has always taken a strong interest in its residents’ health and wellbeing, but work undertaken in partnership with the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre to measure residents’ wellbeing demonstrated that we could do more to measure, track and use evidence to inform ongoing work in the community. Gabrielle Kelly, speaks here about why wellbeing and resilience is so important to building a stronger community.
The City of Adelaide understands that the wellbeing and resilience of our residents contributes not only to the social capital and engagement of our community, but also to the liveability of our City. We are working with the community to create an environment where all residents have a high level of psychological wellbeing, are as physically healthy as they can be thanks to good nutrition and regular physical activity, and have a solid sense of meaning and purpose through strong connections with family and community.
Understanding our Starting Point
To build, embed and measure wellbeing and resilience across the City, we needed to first understand our starting point. In 2016 the City of Adelaide partnered with the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) to deliver a survey using the PERMA+ framework. PERMA stands for Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. The ‘+’ encompasses optimism, physical activity, nutrition and sleep. The survey responses provided the needed baseline data to plan our work and develop a Wellbeing Roadmap. A summary report of the results of the baseline survey can be found here.
The baseline data will also be used for reporting against the Adelaide 2020 Strategic Plan, and Council is in the process of identifying other existing measures and indicators against which we can track our progress in the wellbeing focus areas.
Based on the research undertaken, the City of Adelaide’s Wellbeing Roadmap was developed, and identified three key focus areas for the Council:
- South Australia: State of Wellbeing report
- Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI
- PERMA+ framework
- Adelaide Living Winter 2017
Have questions or want to learn more about the project?
18 – 24 year olds
The results of the resident wellbeing baseline survey undertaken in 2016 showed that 18 – 24 year olds living in the City could benefit from targeted opportunities to build their wellbeing and resilience. City of Adelaide will be working closely with a range of partners and young people in this age group to implement sustainable change.
Physical activity and nutrition
There is a significant amount of research showing the connection between people’s level of physical activity, nutritional intake and personal wellbeing. The City of Adelaide is already engaged in a range of activities to encourage physical activity in the city. Opportunities exist, such as leveraging Council’s businesses, grants and incentives, to broaden and strengthen what is already in place, as well as increase the focus on residents’ consumption of fruit and vegetables.
Meaning and purpose
Research has shown the importance of having a sense of meaning and purpose on people’s overall wellbeing. The City of Adelaide will work closely with research institutes and thought leaders in this area to identify opportunities for evidence based, innovative and ‘smart’ initiatives that enable residents to enhance their sense of meaning and purpose.