HEAL: A free initiative to improve health in SA

Image: Country SA PHN/Facebook.
Image: Country SA PHN/Facebook.

A free preventative health initiative is being rolled out across regional and rural South Australia to help those who are overweight, at risk of chronic disease or who already have one or more chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

The Healthy Eating Activity and Lifestyle program (HEAL) aims to empower individuals to take responsibility for their health by focusing on behaviour modification principles during an eight-week program.

Based on a non-dieting weight management approach, it aims to change attitudes to dietary fads and gimmicks. The program is made possible with support from Country SA Primary Health Network through its After Hours preventative health grants.

Country SA PHN CEO Kim Hosking said: “the long-term objective of HEAL is to help patients avoid escalating poor health conditions as well as preventable hospital admissions.”

“This is another important preventative health program providing access to quality care in an after-hours setting.

“By encouraging positive behaviour change, it will help participants improve their overall health as well as decreasing risk factors that contribute to chronic conditions.”

The HEAL program focuses on nutrition, physical activity and psychology and addresses behaviour modification and goal setting.

Participants are screened by a Registered Nurse or Allied Health Professional pre and post the program, with follow up at five and 12 months after it has been completed. During the program participants take part in two-hour sessions held weekly.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP said HEAL provides an important health service for local communities.

“I would certainly encourage those who are overweight, have a chronic disease or are at risk of getting a chronic disease to get in touch with their GP and see if they are eligible for the fantastic support this program offers,” he said.

To find out whether you are eligible to take part in the HEAL program, speak to your GP (referral required).

  • More information: www.countrysaphn.com.au.