Flooding, public health – and the need for more emphasis on prevention

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

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Nick Wilson, George Thomson, Paul Blaschke (University of Otago, Wellington)

Recent flooding events in New Zealand should make us think about the adverse public health and economic impacts. This blog post considers these issues, and suggests that there may be scope for further preventive action by central and local government so as to better reduce the health and economic impacts of flooding disasters.

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NZ compares well with other OECD countries in health & other areas: But scope for improvements

Friday, November 15th, 2013 | Kate Sloane | 1 Comment

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Assoc Prof Nick Wilson and Dr Nisha Nair

NZ compares favourably with other OECD countries in many ways – according to the just released results of the OECD’s “Better Life Index”. This blog considers some of the details and also various ways we could make further improvements in health, safety and the environment.

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Happiness surveys, & can health sector interventions improve well-being?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 | Nick Wilson | 2 Comments

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Assoc Prof Nick Wilson & Prof Tony Blakely

According to the just released “World Happiness Report 2013”, New Zealanders are among the happiest people in the world, ranking 13th out of 156 nations examined. Actually only seven countries appear to have significantly higher (happier) rankings than New Zealand (where the confidence intervals for the ranking scores clearly don’t overlap). These include the four Scandinavian countries, two European countries (Netherlands and Switzerland) and Canada. The source of the New Zealand data is the two-yearly New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS), run by Statistics New Zealand. Continue reading

The High Burden from Mental Health Disorders – but also an Opportunity for Cost-Effective Interventions

Thursday, August 29th, 2013 | Nick Wilson | No Comments

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Assoc Prof Nick Wilson

Two new studies published today in the Lancet, highlight that mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of non-fatal illness worldwide (Whiteford et al; Degenhardt et al). These two studies are a valuable contribution to knowledge about health problems and come from a massive international research project. The results should help guide policymakers around the world in taking the cost-effective steps needed to prevent and treat the high health burden from mental and substance use disorders.

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