The South Western Sydney Wellbeing Collaboration, and the Five Ways to Wellbeing strategy that underpins it, were received enthusiastically at the official launch held at Liverpool Hospital on 4 May 2016.
The collaboration, facilitated by South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), brings together organisations from across the region to work together to create a physically and mentally healthier community. It addresses anxiety, depression and suicide, and promotes positive mental health.
The five touch points of the strategy are: Connect; Give; Keep Learning; Be Active; Take Notice.
All participants at yesterday’s launch were passionate about the importance to individuals and the wider community of working together and of taking a holistic approach to wellbeing.
Speakers included Senior Health Promotion Officer, Mental Wellbeing, Barry Taylor, who gave an overview of the Five Ways to Wellbeing strategy; General Manager of Wollondilly Shire Council, Luke Johnson, who talked about the role of local government in promoting wellbeing; and Deputy Mental Health Commissioner, Fay Jackson, who officially launched the project.
Ms Jackson spoke movingly about the importance of the work that had been done to establish the collaboration and of the work it will carry out.
“It’s not enough for the services to be there for services sake.Services must be there for people’s sake,” she said.
“I am alive today because of meaning and purpose in my life. The wellbeing of people needs to come first…all the rest will follow.”
Two local wellbeing initiatives were highlighted. Marisa Mottola, of the Local Health District Health Promotion Service, talked about the importance of community collaboration, in particular for culturally and linguistically diverse communities; and Jane Stratton, of the Think+DO Tank Foundation, talked about a long-term collective experiment in the 2168 postcode using arts, social policy and urban design to promote social connectedness and greater equity.
Also showcased was an Aboriginal cultural performance by the Jannawi Dancers and a performance of Latin American songs by the Spanish Speaking Choir.
A video which highlights how and why South Western Sydney Local Health District implemented the wellbeing collaborative and strategy is below.