Your loved ones may need My health for life

My health for life, a program for Queenslanders who want to change their behaviour to avoid chronic conditions such as diabetes, is currently being rolled out across the state.


The program, which launched in April, is being implemented on a community-by-community basis with plans underway for a statewide launch by the end of the year. 


My health for life is already available in Wide Bay, Cairns and the neighbouring hinterland, the Moreton Bay region and the Gold Coast, with Ipswich and the Brisbane metropolitan areas soon to follow.  


The program offers both group sessions and phone coaching by trained health professionals, with the latter option already available state wide.


It has already attracted participants from central Queensland and the far north just through word of mouth.


While the program is not open to people with diabetes, it may benefit your friends and family members. Living with someone who is proactively managing their diabetes and general health can often be a wake-up call to other family members to get their own health back on track.


Program director Lyn Hamill says the success of the program is due to the fact that it is practical, flexible, free and personalised.


"Our research tells us these things are important," she said.


"We are also not asking people to make major life changes that are overwhelming. It is important they feel these changes and choices are within their grasp.


"That's why the program supports people to break down their goals into small, manageable and achievable steps. There can be real ownership and motivation when people see they are achieving healthy change for themselves.''


Lyn said the program also benefited from working with the participants' GPs and local health providers. 


"This is not about us coming into an area and delivering a program then leaving. My health for life works hard to build strong relationships with local health professionals and we use local providers.


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"This collaboration is essential for the health outcomes we are wanting for participants and it helps complete the care cycle.''


It is too early to evaluate the program but anecdotal evidence shows weight loss in early participants as well as an increase in their physical activity and mental wellbeing.


My health for life has been developed by the Healthier Queensland Alliance which includes the Heart Foundation, the Stroke Foundation, the PHN network, the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, led by Diabetes Queensland.


The program is funded by the Queensland Government and is a Healthier.Happier initiative.


To find out more and how the program could work for you or your loved ones, visit My health for life, or ring 13 74 75 for free risk assessments.

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