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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.