Measures of how 'well' we are doing as a nation have conventionally been based on economic considerations such as Gross Domestic Product, employment rates and housing prices. However, in an era when Australians are richer than ever, more than one million adults and 100,000 young people are experiencing depression every year. The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index investigates additional factors impacting on our lives, filling the void not covered by economic considerations and producing a complete view of Australians’ wellbeing.
It also informs public debate about the sort of society we want to live in. It provides community organisations, government and business decision-makers with a credible measure of wellbeing for purposes ranging from strategic planning and policy making to providing every-day Australians with information they can use to improve their personal wellbeing. It engenders increasing awareness of important social issues impacting on the wellbeing of Australians.
The index is based on a working hypothesis that proposes wellbeing below a ‘normative range’ indicates a higher propensity to developing clinical depression. When people’s demands exceed their resources, this causes wellbeing to fall below the normative range. The index is therefore extremely useful at identifying groups of people in society whose demands are exceeding their resources and who require extra assistance if they are to avoid depression.
Why did Australian Unity develop the index?
Australian Unity is committed to making genuine contributions to society. The index is a demonstration of this commitment, by investigating factors that impact on the lives of every-day Australians.
Data from the index also provides insight into how we can help improve customers’ wellbeing and is extremely useful for informing public debate and policy makers about issues of national importance.