Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Impact Of Building Wellbeing In Rural Ageing Communities And Carers (#671)

Laura Lo 1
  1. South Australian Health and Medical and Research Institute, Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, Australia

Building community capacity to deliver evidence-based wellbeing training is a strategy for wellbeing diffusion in rural and remote regions. The current project aimed to determine the impact of delivering wellbeing interventions using trained community members, on improving the wellbeing, resilience, social connection and optimism of older adults in the general population (Study 1) and older adult carers (Study 2), a population at particular risk of low wellbeing. Participants took part in an eight-week multi-component program consisting of weekly training sessions, and optional mentoring/peer support. Older adults from the general population (Study 1) reported significantly higher scores on overall wellbeing and social isolation, but did not show significantly different scores in optimism or resilience. Older aged carers showed significantly higher scores on all measured outcomes, demonstrating particular effectiveness in this population. These studies point towards the benefits that mental health interventions delivered by trained and upskilled community partners can have on various positive mental health outcomes. Early interventions such as these may contribute to reducing the burden of mental health conditions and low wellbeing on individuals and the health care system, and further stimulate positive ageing; even in places where access to evidence-based wellbeing interventions is limited.