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Mental health and wellbeing in Australia incl iCARE

Understanding the impacts of climate change, mental health and wellbeing on women and their families and amplify our evidence-informed solutions to multiple audiences, including policy makers. 

We are also part of iCARE, a large international study working to understand the behaviours, attitudes and knowledge surrounding COVID-19 and vaccine confidence.

Climate health

Climate change is the defining public health issue of the twenty-first century. What is absent in Australia is clear national government policy which communicates and responds to climate change as a public health issue. We are working to change this.

Our point of difference is the MCHRI consumer-led, evidence-based implementation approach. Our work is developed with women and for women, and their families.

We collaborate with leaders in this field to produce impactful research that makes a meaningful difference to the lives of women and their families, through influencing policy, clinical practice, and within an empowerment framework.

We are currently partnering with Deakin University to investigate the mental health impacts of the existential threat of global warming. Our work includes climate related coping strategies, and the scale of impact on the national psyche of the lack of climate action in Australia.

Policy

Our call for climate action to address the mental health concerns of Australians.

Implementation & Impact

Our article, Australians are 3 times more worried about climate change than COVID. A mental health crisis is looming in The Conversation, has been read by over 50,000 readers. 

Publication in The Journal of Climate Change and Health,Volume 3, 2021, Rebecca Patrick, Rhonda Garad, Tristan Snell, Joanne Enticott, Graham Meadows, Australians report climate change as a bigger concern than COVID-19 100032, ISSN 2667-2782.

iCARE

The COVID-19 pandemic has made an unprecedented impact on the day to day lives of people around the world. Even with the new vaccines and better treatments, limiting the impacts of COVID-19 requires behavioural change and adherence to public policy and regulations.

This is the Australian arm of the International COVID-19 Awareness and Responses Evaluation (iCARE) study, which is investigating people’s understanding, attitudes, beliefs and actions towards the COVID-19 pandemic.

The iCARE aims, measures and survey results and publications resulting from this international collaboration are available at www.icarestudy.com.

We collected self-reported Australian behaviours, knowledge, motivations, and concerns around COVID-19 at important time points; The Australian longitudinal iCARE survey has collected over 5000 surveys (as at Jan 2022) from people living in Australia. These national representative samples have provided valuable survey information at multiple timepoints:

  • May 2020
  • July 2020
  • Feb/March 2021
  • August 2021
  • January 2022
  • Further waves of data are anticipated in Dec 2022 and throughout 2023
Implementation & Impact

Information has been shared widely to the public and policy makers to inform strategies to support behavioural adherence with policies to limit SARS-CoV-2 spread.

Derived from this work, read ‘The toolkit to manage the COVID pandemic’, and public health compliance at: 

We also collected beliefs, intentions and hesitancy of Australians towards vaccines generally (importance, safety and efficacy), and to SARS- CoV-2 specifically. As attitudes towards the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may vary over time, the new information is able to inform current public health campaigns and policy and assist with effectively targeting those who currently have lower vaccine intentions.

Read our short piece on ‘The subtle art and science of COVID vaccine (and booster) influencing’. 

Learn more about the study and the study team and explore results, media coverage, infographics, research content and more at: www.icarestudy.com

Research Streams
  • Ongoing data collection rounds in Australia – social media infographics to inform the public and policy makers
  • Adherence to preventative health behaviours before and after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine: a study of Canadian and Australian samples
  • Medical student SIP projects
  • Other student projects
To deliver health impact, we use the following MCHRI platforms
Group Members
  • Shrinkhala Dawadi

We gratefully acknowledge the funding given to our group by:

  • ICARE collaboration for the summer scholarship for Ms Shrinkhala Dawadi