RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

Flinders and SAHMRI launches Be Well to strengthen mental wellbeing

SOURCE: Sergei Supinsky/AFP
The current situation of the world may have an adverse effect on our mental wellbeing.


By U2B Staff 

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In light of the recent events, mental health awareness may become an important point for national governments to highlight in the coming months. 

The Australian government, for instance, is channelling funds into ensuring mental health initiatives are in place as the after-effects of stress, anxiety and other adverse mental health conditions could last for up to four years after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. 

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To funnel in additional mental health awareness and support for South Australians, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s (SAHMRI) Wellbeing and Resilience Centre has partnered with the Flinders University Orama Institute to open up its online mental health support programme the Be Well Plan, to the public who need it the most. 

The Be Well Plan consists of five online sessions that span 10 hours in total and provides participants with tailored solutions to strengthen their mental health.

The programme helps users identify their own unique mental health needs; what works for them and what doesn’t as an individual. It consists of various exercises and strategies to build strong and positive levels of mental health and wellbeing. 

By the end of these online sessions, users will be able to tailor their own specific Be Well plan that is tailored to their mental health needs. 

Originally, this programme was priced at AU$350, but due to the current global situation, the programme is now available at no cost for the next six months, after which it will be available through a pay-as-you-wish model. 

Mental Health Awareness
Amidst uncertainties, anxiety and depression may set in for many. (Source: Valery Hache/AFP) 

“There’s so much uncertainty out there, and normally, the effects of being in quarantine or being isolated or locked up on the human psyche are pretty profound,” said SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience lead researcher Joep van Agteren according to a report by CityMag.

“Right now, even though we still have the freedom to move, I think the fact that we can’t do what we want coupled with a lot of anxiety, and the fact that millions of people have just lost their jobs, and other people are most probably wondering what would happen to their own stability, it doesn’t make for a very good mental health cocktail.”

Researchers from both SAHMRI and Flinders University came to a consensus that they would support the South Australian community by introducing a flexible payment model which makes the programme available for as little as AU$1.

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Van Agreten further expressed worry that there would be a massive mental health fallout from this global crisis as societies are put into isolation, jobs are lost and a lot of uncertainties lie ahead in the future. 

“We want this out there to as many people as possible as we want to reduce the mental health fall-out of this thing. We also want people to realise that you can keep your wellbeing and positive spirit high in times like this.’’

The Be Well plan is now live, with its first pre-recorded session already available to the public with the second session scheduled to be available on 6 April. 

Users can pre-register for the programme to receive invitations to the sessions and take part in a 15-minute questionnaire on your personal mental wellbeing which will be tracked throughout the progress of this programme.