A raft of programs aiming to keep Aboriginal people healthy in the community are being launched across Hunter New England (HNE) Health under the banner Healthy Black and Deadly.
Mr Tony Martin Director of Aboriginal Health said the five programs were developed as part of the local health district’s ongoing efforts to close the gap in health outcomes between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people by reducing the impact of chronic disease.
The programs focus on healthy lifestyles, early intervention, knowledge and behavioural change,” Mr Martin said.
“HNE Health recognises that these factors have the greatest opportunity to have a positive impact on the health of Aboriginal people.
“We want to empower Aboriginal people to make better lifestyle choices particularly in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and health screening/checks,” he said.
Chronic conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes as well as smoking, physical inactivity and poor nutrition continue to be more prevalent among Aboriginal people.
Newcastle Knights player Tyrone Roberts and sportsperson Tanisha Stanton are ambassadors for the Healthy Black and Deadly Program.
“I’m happy to be an Ambassador for this program because I know how important it is for our mob to be aware of making healthy lifestyle choices,” said Tyrone Roberts.
The five programs are delivered by trained health and fitness professionals and are designed to improve overall health and well-being including self-confidence, self-esteem and physical fitness.
Shake a Leg - A 10-week school-based program teaching students the benefits of physical education, personal development and welfare through health education, games and activities.
I-Fit Program - A fitness program designed to educate and motivate Aboriginal people to increase their physical activity level and improve their overall health to reduce the impact of chronic disease.
Making Tracks - A program addressing Aboriginal family health issues, by providing free basic adult health checks and linking Aboriginal people with specialist health workers to improve their health knowledge and improve access to health services and referrals.
Let’s Talk Tucker – A program aiming to support Aboriginal Health Education Officers to deliver preventative nutrition information to communities as part of their existing work.
Chronic Disease Healthy Lifestyle Program – A program providing low-impact rehabilitation services to low risk Aboriginal people who have suffered cardiac arrest, have respiratory disease, renal failure or diabetes.
Mr Martin encourages all Aboriginal people to see their local health professional for a risk assessment, which could include advice on weight management, a regular exercise program, healthy diet including limiting fast food and alcohol intake and quitting smoking.
The Healthy Black and Deadly initiative will be launched at the following locations:
- 18 August 1:30-3:30pm - Awaba House, Booragul
- 26 August 1-3pm - University of Newcastle’s Tamworth Education Centre