A new $27 million initiative will deliver a healthy lifestyle program to people here on the Gold Coast and across the state, who are at risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the program, My health for life, is free to eligible participants.
“The Gold Coast is a region where an active outdoor lifestyle is valued, so I think this program will be very attractive to local residents,’’ Mr Dick said.
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“It is all about supporting people to get their health back on track or helping them to age well by maintaining active and healthy lives.”
Program participants will be offered six sessions of lifestyle coaching and support over six months by trained health professionals, and can choose between group sessions or personal, structured phone coaching.
Mr Dick said the phone coaching option was expected to be popular with shift, hospitality and emergency workers on the Gold Coast, offering them flexibility around work times.
“There are currently 12 trained Gold Coast facilitators and nine group-based programs ready to accept enrolments and there is potential to establish more groups.”
Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute said the health alliance was excited about the program.
“I think it will have broad appeal to people who are looking for something different. They know they need to make some changes in their life but just want a bit of help getting there,” she said.
“The organisations that belong to the health alliance have been working in this space for some time, so we are delighted to be part of a program that works alongside GPs and other local health professionals.
“Instead of everyone trying to do a bit, we can combine efforts to achieve a stronger outcome.”
In the Gold Coast local government area, 19,400 people (3.4 per cent of the local population) have type 2 diabetes.
Mr Dick said people were often unaware how much their lifestyle choices impacted on their personal risk of developing chronic conditions, particularly if there were no obvious signs or symptoms.
“These statistics highlight that change is needed and My health for life is an innovative program to do just that,” Mr Dick said.
“What’s good about My health for life is that people will learn how to make and maintain healthy behaviours that still suit their lifestyle but are achievable.”
The program will be rolled out right across the state over the next three years.
Want to take part in the program? Talk to your GP, pharmacist, call 13 74 75 or visit www.myhealthforlife.com.au to find out more.