New partnerships encourage healthy eating in the workplace

Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) is excited to announce a new collaborative partnership to encourage healthier eating within some of the largest organisations in East Gippsland.

Funded by the East Gippsland Primary Care Partnership, the “Healthy Eating Workplace Partnership” aims to increase employee exposure to healthy eating choices in the workplace and decrease access to discretionary foods that are high in sugar, fat, salt and kilojoules.

“Research indicates there is a link between healthier food and increased productivity, greater creativity, reduced absenteeism and an enhanced sense of happiness and satisfaction,” explains Angela Ellis, Executive Director of the Community Health Services Unit at GLCH. “For example, it’s currently estimated that around 54 per cent of adults in East Gippsland are overweight or obese, and with higher rates of heart disease and high blood pressure than the state’s average. In addition, 14 per cent of people in East Gippsland report experiences of high psychological distress; better nutrition can help to enhance mental wellbeing.”

“Within participating workplaces, this much-needed project will increase access to healthier food, as well as educate employees through the development and distribution of a healthy catering document and supporting resources.”

Some of the organisations already involved in the project include East Gippsland Shire Council, East Gippsland Water, East Gippsland Ports, Catchment Management Authority, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, Federation Training, and motor groups such as Hyundai and Mazda.

“If your workplace or business would like to become involved, contact GLCH for more information,” says Ms Ellis.

By enhancing knowledge around healthy food choices, the project is expected to help build the confidence and capacity of some 2,000 employees across the region, to help them to live a healthier life.
To find out more contact GLCH on 5155 8300.

Not one, but two Men’s Shed in Lakes Entrance

Men’s Sheds are typically places where blokes of varying ages and abilities can regularly get together to socialise and build things for their local community. These groups offer social, emotional and other benefits for participants as they provide a place to belong, a sense of purpose, and opportunities to enhance self-esteem and confidence. In Australia, there are almost 1,000 Men’s Sheds around the country, making it one of the largest male-based community development opportunities.

Did you know, in Lakes Entrance we’re lucky enough to have not just one but two Men’s Sheds?

The Lakes Entrance Men’s Shed Inc is located at 10 Coates Road, and currently has around 80 to 90 members, with new people always welcome to join. Activities on offer include woodwork, metalwork and cooking and the Shed is open for business (aka “fun”!) every weekday from 9am to 4pm.

The second one is called the Gippsland Lakes Men’s Shed. This is a social support group, which is located at the back of 30 Jemmeson Street and is delivered by Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH).

Angela Ellis, Executive Manager of Community Health Services Unit at GLCH says “It’s great that the town can provide multiple options where men can go and get together to build things and socialise.”

“The men who attend our social support group enjoy many health benefits as a result, which comes from regularly being around and interacting with other people, from keeping their brains challenged through activities such as woodwork; from successfully cultivating a veggie garden; and by being able to give back to the community.”

“While having the two groups in the one town may occasionally cause confusion among residents,” adds Ms Ellis, “the bottom line is, the men in Lakes Entrance are definitely not short of choice when it comes to finding a place to go where they can make friends, build things, and feel good about themselves.”

To find out more about the Lakes Entrance Men’s Shed call 5155 3548, or to learn more about GLCH’s social support group phone 5155 8300.

Changing lives three minutes at a time

Last year, Latrobe Community Health Service (LCHS) received a $125,200 grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, to develop and implement the “Telkaya Project”.

“Telkaya” is an Indigenous word meaning “to improve, to be peaceful and to be well” and the aim of this program is to train allied health professionals, nurses and Aboriginal health workers from healthcare providers across Gippsland, how to recommend lifestyle changes to their clients in tactful and culturally-sensitive ways.

The project is a collaboration between LCHS, Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH), Monash University Department of Rural Health, and Ramahyuck Aboriginal District Corporation. The online training package is expected to be rolled out around August 2019 and research will be conducted in the future, to assess the effectiveness of the training package

“The Telkaya Project will teach healthcare professionals how to have three-minute, non-confrontational ‘healthy chats’ with clients, which focus on lifestyle changes around smoking, nutrition, alcohol and physical activity,” explains Angela Ellis, Executive Manager of the Community Health Unit at GLCH.

“When it comes to smoking, alcohol use, exercise and healthy eating habits, research suggests that a short, sharp discussion (which includes advice) with a primary healthcare professional can encourage people to make lifestyle changes or access support services,” adds Ms Ellis.

To find out more contact GLCH.