How Your Social Connections Affect Health and Wellbeing
A number of strategies are in development to increase awareness of the impact of social connection on health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.
In 2008, Dr Rodney Tolley, an Honorary Research fellow at Staffordshire University in the UK, and Director of Walk21 (a global partnership of experts that aims to raise international awareness of walking issues and supporting professionals in the development and delivery of best practice) was a guest speaker at a Gold Coast Partnership Council forum attracting more than 100 diverse participants.
The theme of the keynote address and workshop was the relationship between environmental design, walkability and social connection.
Forum participants were encouraged to conduct an audit of their local home or work community to understand the issues which support social connection and those that get in the way.
The results of the audits and workshop conducted as part of the forum are informing the development of options for priority partnership projects to improve social connection on the Gold Coast in the near future.
A further forum was conducted in June 2009 with more than 100 people from diverse organisations registering. A brief discussion paper was circulated to stimulate debate about the priorities for the Gold Coast and participants were also asked to consider how they would rate the level of social connectedness for the Gold Coast and specific groups of people as well as localities. The ideas, issues and strategies identified at the forum are the basis for the design of a partnership project in respect of social connection on the Gold Coast.
A report summarising the results from stage 1 and forming the basis of the proposal for stage 2 has also been produced.
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