ORIGINS is a next generation ‘interventional’ birth cohort, of 10,000 families, taking new approaches to the challenges of the modern world. A healthier start to life will improve the physical and mental health and resilience of children, families, and the community—with immediate and long term benefits that have global implications.
Susan is a Founding Director of the ORIGINS Project, a $26 million birth cohort, which will recruit and follow 10,000 families over the first 5 years of life. ORIGINS is fully integrated into the local community and clinical care at the Joondalup Health Campus. It is geared for translation through a series of separately funded harmonised nested clinical trials and community based interventions- with policy and guideline change as built-in deliverables. Informed though a strong community engagement program, this already includes plans to extend beyond specific traditional strategies (diet, physical activity and toxic exposures-we will still examine) to more fundamental wellness strategies (below) that influence these core behaviours and relationships with community and the environment. All these sub-studies will examine early impact on immune, metabolic and mental health outcomes that are known to have long term health implications
Through inVIVO Planetary Health, ORIGINS is part of a growing network of preventive intervention cohorts which are now examining the influence of many environmental domains on improving health outcomes within an ecological frame work: local community projects contributing to the planetary health narrative. The goal is to explore wider protective and buffering factors that enhance resilience and reduce allostatic load, such as building nature relatedness, interpersonal relationships, purpose, mindfulness and positive emotions and sleep. This will determine whether these ‘upstream’ approaches to wellness behaviour will have flow on effects to the ‘usual’risk targets (such as poor nutrition, physical inactivity, stress and substance abuse) by influencing these core behaviours through better relationships with self, community and the environment. It is our hope that in addition to scientific pursuit, that community cohorts, especially those focused on young families, could be part of the solutions in every community- actually nourishing individuals and whole communities towards positive change. In essence, cohorts studies represent a pathway for global change to begin locally – the opportunity to engage as part of an interconnected grass-roots strategy to understand the complexities which can help promote planetary health.