‘Urban Planning Supporting Health and Wellbeing’ match: short version

It’s interesting that a lot of people sometimes think well, you know, what role does planning play? It’s really just you know colouring in or putting boxes in different places. But planning has a really major role in our health and wellbeing. A match being hosted by the Greater Sydney Commission is a really exciting development in the mental health field. Because what we’re trying to do is to make sure that we actually push a wellbeing agenda, not simply a being ‘not sick’ agenda. Often the focus in mental health often is about acute mental illness. It’s about when people get sick what happens to them. And the fact is if that’s all we ever do there’ll never be enough hospital beds, there’ll never be enough doctors. Well this match is really important because if you look at what’s happening around the world as more and more people move into cities and urban lives that’s the most difficult, the most complex environments to be able to provide the supports people need to thrive in their lives. I’m really passionate about developing mental health education, literacy in low middle-income countries. And I think that a match like this, if we can all come together and think about big cities in say Bangladesh, Dakar, in Uganda, in India, and think about how we might be able to impart knowledge but also learn. Planning and mental health is a lightbulb moment because historically that hasn’t happened. Typically the people who plan mental health systems plan them independently of the people who are planning what’s happening within cities. But if you think about it cities and city government is a part of government that touches the people on a daily basis. This match has been highly successful. We’re leaving Sydney with a lot of energy, a lot of anticipation, and determination to make this ongoing. I am ecstatic that I came. I think for me what’s been really rewarding is that there are people with similar views of the world. That we can’t be in our little black boxes over here trying to treat people, we really have to think about how we influence the broader community. And to sit around the table with people who have that same perspective has just been very invigorating for me.

1 Comment

  1. Hi I was not able to make this conference but would really like to connect with anyone who attended this match. Please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]……thanks so much!

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