Centre for Wellbeing, Resilience and Recovery

Aim

The Centre for Wellbeing, Resilience and Recovery is led by Associate Professor Justine Gatt.

The aim of the Centre is to facilitate regular discussion and collaboration amongst scientists and healthcare professionals across NeuRA, UNSW and the Black Dog Institute, with the common goal of:

  • Understanding the factors that predict optimal wellbeing, flourishing and resilience to stress and adversity using state-of-the-art neuroscience and genetics research, and
  • Creating new solutions and programs towards improved mental wellbeing of the general population from childhood into older age.

Our research will include the design, testing and delivery of interventions and programs that would be useful for both non-clinical and clinical populations. These programs are designed to educate and promote increased wellbeing and resilience in the general public, as well as in individuals undergoing various forms of treatment for mental or physical health where wellbeing promotion could assist in physical or mental recovery.

Research focus areas
  • Neuroscience and genetics of wellbeing and resilience
  • Heritability of wellbeing in twins
  • Wellbeing measurement across children, adolescents and adults
  • Wellbeing in individuals undergoing treatment for mental, developmental and physical health issues (e.g., chronic pain, ageing, falls, sleep problems)
  • Wellbeing education in organisations
  • Smartphone wellbeing apps (e.g., ReNeuWell®)
  • Animal models of wellbeing and resilience
Why this research matters

Mental illness is a leading global burden of disease. Because of this, most psychiatric research is focused on understanding mental illnesses and how to treat them. What is often overlooked is understanding the science behind wellbeing, resilience and flourishing states.

High mental wellbeing is a defining characteristic of optimal mental health. It encompasses happiness and life satisfaction, and underpins our ability to experience a meaningful life and resilience to stress. The promotion of wellbeing is a promising yet under-researched avenue for optimal mental health, particularly as we know that wellbeing and illness are very different constructs. The absence of one does not necessarily suggest the presence of the other.

Our Centre strives to address this gap and to be a leader in the field of wellbeing and resilience research, collaborating with leading multi-disciplinary scientists, healthcare professionals, and organisations to advance this space towards a thriving and productive society.

Current research projects