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Weaving the net: promoting mental health and wellness through resilient communities

  • Year: 2006
  • Author: Mugford, Stephen; Rohan-Jones, Stephen
  • Publisher: Mental Health Council of Australia
  • Published Location: Deakin, ACT
  • ISBN: 0977544141
  • Country: Australia

The 2006 project reported on here focused on the ways in which communities find things that, at the local level, provide support to people with a mental illness. In understanding this, the project explored how communities are resilient and how resilience can be further developed, focusing on regional and rural communities and analysing information gathered via community consultations held across Australia. Case studies are provided. Common themes arising from consultations included the value of coordination, networking, the tyranny of distance, volunteering, men's needs, finance, and diversity. The report argues that key findings confirm a central message that healthy communities do not rely on health services: in many regional areas, these services are so rare that they cannot form an integral part of the fabric of regional communities. Instead, these communities are drawing inspiration from local leadership 'who seem to have a catalytic ability to draw together people and resources to make good things happen and, in the process, contribute to their community's mental health'. Research findings were linked with overseas literature to generate ten principles which should underpin future investment in resilient communities.

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