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Priority focus areas

Wellbeing SA’s work is focused on three priority areas – the early years; mental health and wellbeing and suicide prevention; and chronic disease, integrated care and injury prevention.

The early years

Wellbeing SA is working in partnership to support all South Australian children to have the best start in life, for optimal growth and development.

Health concerns such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and mental health issues often have their origins in early childhood.

This priority focus area recognises that the health of a child starts before birth, with the health of parents before conception, during pregnancy, affecting the health of the baby at birth and through their early years.

Priority actions we are working towards for 2025:

  • Scoping the current evidence and initiatives already underway and collaborating with partners to develop a comprehensive state-wide action plan for wellbeing in the early years.
  • Working alongside partners to promote health and wellbeing practices and support earlier, targeted support for vulnerable families from preconception, to pregnancy through to infancy.
  • Taking action on promoting health and wellbeing for parents and caregivers including initiatives that recognise the important role of grandparents and other carers in a child’s development, health and wellbeing.

Explore this work in action:

Achievement highlight: monitoring and integration of Pregnancy Outcomes Statistics

Wellbeing SA manages the statewide monitoring of pregnancy characteristics and outcomes, helping to identify those at risk, inform preventative action and support the health and wellbeing of South Australian families.

Other work in action:

Mental health and wellbeing and suicide prevention

Wellbeing SA is fostering and coordinating the partnerships required to build resilient and connected communities and working to improve South Australians’ mental health and wellbeing.

Mental ill health affects almost half of the Australian population at some point in their lifetime and one in five people in any one year. People living with mental illness have poorer physical health than other Australians, as their physical health needs are often overshadowed by their mental health condition. Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 44 years, and the third leading cause of death for people aged 45 to 55 years.

This priority focus area recognises that both mental health and suicide are complex, and that raising awareness, breaking down stigma, increasing connection and responding with compassion are all critical factors to saving lives.

Priority actions we are working towards for 2025:

  • Implementing and supporting community education and early intervention initiatives that strengthen mental health and wellbeing, prevent mental illness, raise awareness and reduce stigma.
  • Assisting individuals and communities in accessing the right mental health support at the time it is needed.
  • In partnership, and by focusing on the determinants of health, supporting early identification and appropriate responses for communities in distress.
  • In collaboration with academic institutions, industry leaders and government, ensuring evidence-based suicide prevention initiatives are implemented across the state.

Explore this work in action

Achievement highlight: Strengthening Community Wellbeing After Bushfires project

Wellbeing SA has provided grant funding for locally driven initiatives to help support people from bushfire affected communities to connect, build resilience, strengthen mental health and wellbeing and support recovery.

Other work in action:

Chronic disease, integrated care and injury prevention

Wellbeing SA is focusing on preventable chronic disease and injury by acting on health and wellbeing risk factors, improving access to screening and community-based models of integrated care, and promoting health and wellbeing to improve outcomes for all South Australians.

Chronic conditions are a substantial health issue, contributing to premature mortality and morbidity. Many chronic conditions share common risk factors that are largely preventable, such as tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity and high blood pressure.

This priority focus areas recognises that almost one third of the overall disease burden in Australia could be prevented by reducing exposure to modifiable risk factors.

Priority actions we are working towards for 2025 include:

  • Supporting implementation of policies, strategies and public health legislation that:
    • address risk factors for wellbeing, across the disease continuum and life course focusing on improving population nutrition, increasing physical activity levels, decreasing tobacco smoking, and decreasing excessive alcohol consumption.
    • create healthier communities and environments, focusing on settings such as hospitals and health services, workplaces, education sites and parks, community spaces and recreation facilities.
  • Designing and implementing a range of integrated strategies to reduce potentially preventable presentations to hospital, with a focus on priority populations.
  • Building an injury prevention system across the life course focusing on children and on the prevention of falls in older adults.
  • Further developing relationships with general practice and primary care partners, working on models of care that address improved integration of care and chronic disease prevention and management.

Explore this work in action

Achievement highlight: Healthy parks healthy people

Wellbeing SA is working in partnership to increase access to parks and greenspace across South Australia to support opportunities for people to be more physically active, experience the mental health benefits of spending time in nature and contribute to conservation.

Achievement highlight: Priority care centres

Explore how Wellbeing SA has collaborated with partners to establish four Priority Care Centres across metropolitan Adelaide, providing a community based alternative pathway to care for people who would have otherwise needed to visit an emergency department.

Other work in action

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