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Social/community wellbeing

Social/community wellbeing is about the relationships among individuals and groups in our society. The ways we connect, participate in our communities, and care for one another can determine whether we feel fulfilled, supported, and safe. Positive social/community wellbeing gives meaning and a sense of belonging to our lives and is also good for our mental wellbeing.

Social connection

Rationale

Social connection is a key enabler for ageing well and ensures both young and old people feel connected and engaged within their communities. Loneliness is a greater predictor of sickness and death than smoking, alcohol consumption and poor lifestyle, and is a growing concern facing our communities. Additionally, it also impacts an individual’s mental wellbeing.

This indicator aligns with the South Australian Plan for Ageing Well (2020-2025), Strong Futures South Australian Youth Action Plan (2020-2022) and the Mental Health and Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention priority focus area within the Wellbeing SA Strategic Plan 2020–2025.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults reporting they are not lonely:

Source: Population Health Survey Module System (PHSMS)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked 3 questions derived from the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Hughes et al. 2004). Respondents were asked how often they felt a lack of companionship, how often they felt left out, and how often they felt isolated from others.
  • The response categories were coded 1 (hardly ever), 2 (some of the time), and 3 (often). Each person’s responses to these questions were added together to give a total score, with higher scores indicating a greater degree of loneliness. Scores ranged from 3-9.
  • The scores were categorised into 3 variables (Mezuk et al. 2016): ‘Not lonely (score: 3)’, ‘Moderately lonely (score: 4–5)’, and ‘Highly lonely (score: 6–9)’.
  • The proportion of respondents who were not lonely (score: 3) are reported.

Secondary measure

Proportion of South Australian students with medium or high wellbeing on the ‘Peer belonging’ and on the "Friendship intimacy" indicators:

Source: Department for Education - Wellbeing and Engagement Collection (WEC)

  • WEC is a survey that collects information from students in years 4 to 12 about non-academic factors relevant to learning and participation. Peer belonging is defined as feeling that they belong to a social group. Friendship intimacy is defined as the quality of social support from peer.
  • The proportion that reported high and medium wellbeing for these indicators have been reported.

Social and civic participation

Rationale

Participation in social and civic groups (for example sporting groups, service clubs or environmental groups) can help promote social connection and have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of South Australians.

Measures

  • Proportion of South Australian adults participating in community support groups
  • Proportion of South Australian adults participating in social groups
  • Proportion of South Australian adults participating in civic or political group

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) General Social Survey

  • Respondents (15+ years) were asked if they had actively engaged in any of these groups in the last 12 months.
  • No data were collected in years 2015 through 2018.
  • There were a number of questionnaire changes from 2014 to 2019 that should be considered when interpreting the General Social Survey data. See the ABS’s website for further details.

Secondary measures

  • Proportion of South Australian adults participating in social sporting groups
  • Proportion of South Australian adults participating in cultural groups
  • Proportion of South Australian adults participating in religious groups

These data are not yet available.

Digital inclusion

Rationale

South Australian’s level of access, ability to confidently use technology, and capacity to pay for these technologies can influence their access to information and health care, and hence can have an impact on their physical, social/community and mental wellbeing.

Measure

South Australia's Australian Digital Inclusion Index annual score:

Source: RMIT University ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society - Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII)

  • The ADII is a relative measure of inclusion. Using a score of 0-100, it compares the degree to which individuals can be considered more digitally included than others based on three dimensions: access, affordability, and digital ability. A score closer to 100 indicates higher inclusion while scores closer to 0 indicate greater exclusion. Each of the three ADII dimensions are made up of multiple components, which are sourced directly from the Australian Internet Usage Survey (AIUS) questions.

Volunteering

Rationale

Volunteering is a form of social participation which can contribute to an individual’s sense of meaning and purpose by ‘giving back’ to their community, which is important for positive mental wellbeing.

Measure

The proportion of South Australian adults engaging in formal and informal volunteering in the last 12 months:

Source: Population Health Survey Module System (PHSMS)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked if they had done any formal or informal volunteering in the last 12 months.
  • Formal volunteering included for organisations, clubs or associations.
  • Informal volunteering included unpaid help directly to other people other than relatives on their own initiative and not through a group or organisation. This includes activities like shopping for a neighbour, mowing someone else’s lawn, babysitting for free, or visiting or helping someone who is sick or elderly.

Perceptions of neighbourhood safety

Rationale

If people do not feel safe in their local community this can directly impact on mental wellbeing through increased fear and anxiety. It may also impact on social/community wellbeing indirectly by reducing people’s willingness to be out in the community and on physical wellbeing by reducing people’s inclination to be physically active outdoors.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults reporting they feel their neighbourhoods are safe places:

Source: Population Health Survey Module System (PHSMS)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked ‘do you feel that your neighbourhood is a safe place?’ Response options included 'all of the time', 'most of the time', 'some of the time' and 'none of the time'.
  • The proportion that responded all and most of the time are reported as feeling their neighbourhoods are safe places.

Carers

Rationale

Carers’ wellbeing is significantly poorer than the wellbeing of other Australians, and this difference increases with age. Caring obligations can have a substantial impact on overall wellbeing, and carers also tend to experience challenges with other aspects of wellbeing including psychological distress, physical health, social connection, financial resilience, and employment.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults providing long term care to older people (aged 65 years and over), people with a disability or with a chronic mental or physical illness:

Source: South Australian Population Health Survey (SAPHS)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked if they provided long term care at home for a parent, partner, child, other relative or friend who has a disability, is aged 65 years or over, or who has a chronic mental or physical illness. Long term was described as a minimum of 6 months and may extend into years.

Family and domestic violence

Rationale

Family and domestic violence is a major health and welfare issue occurring across all socioeconomic and demographic groups, but predominantly affecting women and children. The personal impacts of family and domestic violence can be serious and long-lasting, including poor physical and mental health, loss of housing, loss or limited access to employment, precarious financial security, social isolation and alienation from extended family/social support, and in extreme cases death.

Violence can also have profound impacts on the overall development of children who witness it or are victims themselves.

This indicator aligns with the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010­–2022 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2019).

Measure

Rate (per 100,000 population) of South Australian victims of family and domestic violence crime:

Homicide and related offences:

Assault:

Sexual assault:

Kidnapping/abduction:

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) - Family, domestic and sexual violence data in Australia: Crime rates for family and domestic violence

  • Rate per 100,000 people for population groups.
  • Victims’ data does not reflect unique people. If a person is the victim of multiple incidents recorded by police throughout the reference period, each unique incident is counted. Where incidents include multiple offences that fall under different Australian and New Zealand Offence Classification (ANZSOC) offence categories, each different offence category is counted once per incident.
  • Refer to AIHW website for more detail on definitions for family and domestic violence related data and the different offence categories.

Child safety

Rationale

Children and young people have the right to grow up safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture. Child abuse and neglect can have a wide range of significant adverse impacts on a child’s development and later outcomes, including but not limited to negative physical health outcomes, mental health issues, poor school performance, and a higher likelihood of criminal offending.

This indicator aligns with the South Australian Government strategy Safe and well - Supporting families, protecting children, and Safe & Supported: The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021 - 2031

Primary measure

Rate (per 1000 children) of South Australian children aged under 12 months who were the subjects of substantiations of notifications:

Source: Report on Government Services - Child protection services

  • Substantiations of notifications to child protection (per 1,000 population).
  • Rates of children in substantiations of notifications are calculated as the number of children aged under 12 months divided by the estimated population of children aged under 12 months at 30 June, multiplied by 1000.

Measure

Child online safety:

These data are not yet available.

Trust in government

Rationale

Trust is the foundation for a functioning democratic system and is crucial for maintaining political participation and social cohesion. Trust in government works in the public interest as citizens who trust their governments are more likely to accept difficult policy changes and act for the wider good.

During all stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, including containment of the virus, reducing the severity of the pandemic and recovery, trust in public institutions has been vital for governments’ ability to respond rapidly and to secure citizen support.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults reporting they have trust in government:

These data are not yet available.

Discrimination

Rationale

Discrimination is an important social determinant of health and wellbeing, and has significant impacts on social and economic outcomes for both individuals and at the population level.

In particular, racism causes significant stress and robs people of their identity. For Aboriginal South Australians, it is critical to address racism in order to preserve Aboriginal identity in children and for future generations.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults reporting ever being discriminated against, based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability or other reasons:

Source: South Australian Population Health Survey (SAPHS) 2018-2020, Population Health Survey Module System (PHSMS) 2021.

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked if they had ever been discriminated against because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, or any other reasons.

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