University of Canberra
Research Projects
Community, Family and Work in the ACT: The protective role of social participation for mental health and wellbeing
State/Territory: ACT

Community, Family and Work in the ACT is a seed project that profiles the potential mental health benefits of social participation for people living in Canberra and the ACT region. Good mental health for the whole population is an important part of a region's sustainable prosperity. Social participation is typically associated with better mental health, but inconsistencies in the researched strength and direction of this relationship undermine its practical utility. Our project will help identify how different people draw benefits from different kinds of participation. The project considers the needs of specific target groups and takes account of their socio-demographic characteristics, especially regarding disadvantage. It will provide necessary insights by (i) identifying distinctive groupings of individuals, and (ii) their patterns of community, family and workforce participation, then (iii) modelling facilitative relationships between participation, social support and mental health for different kinds of people in the ACT. Outcomes will inform the ACT Government's program to build and improve health infrastructure in the ACT (Your health–our priority).

Geographic location:
Research theme:
Health and Wellbeing
Australian National University
University of Canberra
Funding agency:
ACT Health and Medical Research Council
01 Feb 2011 - 30 Apr 2012