Making contact with nature, second nature
The Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative is the result of a Public Health Partner Authority Agreement between the Department for Health and Wellbeing (DHW), Wellbeing SA and the Department for Environment and Water (DEW).
The initiative recognises the fundamental connections between human health and environmental health and aims to ensure all South Australians experience the health and wellbeing benefits of nature.
There are clear links between the natural environment and our health and wellbeing physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually, with research showing that spending time in nature is good for us.
We believe our state’s national parks are a vital part of connecting all South Australians (especially those living in urban areas) with nature.
A central goal of the Healthy Parks Healthy People SA approach is conserving, protecting and promoting the benefits of nature, especially parks, which relies on strong partnerships with different groups – Aboriginal, education, environment, health, primary industries, social inclusion and urban planning.
The Healthy Parks Healthy People framework has been updated in 2021 to build on the successes of the original framework, acknowledging the collaborative efforts of the health and environment sectors to help more South Australians benefit from contact with nature.
The refreshed framework confirms that nature is critical to human health and the evidence base for this continues to grow. The framework also reflects new policy changes within government such as the establishment of Wellbeing SA and Green Adelaide.
- Promoting physical activity in nature (Action Plan for release in 2021)
Mental health benefits of contact with nature (Action Plan released in 2016)
Promoting the cultural value of Country for Aboriginal health and wellbeing
(Joint Statement of Action launched 2019)
Community health and wellbeing in a changing climate
Nature education and child development
Green infrastructure in urban settings (Action Plan 1 released 2017, Action Plan 2 released 2020)
- Biodiversity, conservation and human health.