Reading in Uncertain Times: Shared Reading for Eudaimonic Wellbeing
We are living in uncertain times. Recent and ongoing crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and natural disasters, and increasing geopolitical and economic instability, have arguably led to a growing awareness of our existential precarity. Recent studies suggest that mental health is poor: among the general population, 24.4% experience anxiety and 22.9% suffer from symptoms of depression. These figures rise to an alarming 41.1% and 32.5% respectively in vulnerable populations (Bower et al.). As Maree Teesson, Director of the University of Sydney’s Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, points out, “what worries me is that rather than having an intense recovery phase [after the pandemic] in Australia we’ve had further crises, including marked increases in costs of living and natural disasters, all of which we know exacerbate mental health problems” (anon.).