Dr Janette Young works at the University of South Australia and is currently Program Director for the Bachelor of Health Sciences and teaches in the areas of health promotion and health as a social and societal issue. She sees health promotion/salutogenesis as offering creative edges on thinking about health; beyond merely aiming to increase length of life to how we think of health as justice, creativity and thriving; and exploring how we build wellness that is more than just disease avoidance or responding.
She has a particular interest in in mental health, civic society, salutogenesis, student wellness and the human: animal intersection. Two key areas of activity have engaged her in recent times - the evidence for pets in regard to human mental health; and how religious (christian) communities impact on peoples lives. Such communities are core to civil society, and religiosity is recognised as a protective factor for mental wellbeing. However experiences of ebb and flow in these communities raises questions such as what keeps these people engaged and who stays within such communities over extended periods of time. A more nuanced understanding of such experiences will deepen out understanding of this aspect of civic society.
In a past life Dr Young was a social worker working in aged care, and a Senior Project Officer for the state government working on issues such as domestic violence, homelessness, prisoner health, primary health care, aboriginal health, education pathways, community capacity, and whatever else came her way. This social health history influences her current academic interests. She firmly believes in the therapeutic power of chocolate, pets, laughter and good friends; noting that all have varying levels of evidence to support such beliefs.