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Workshopping the health and wellbeing of Mansfield's children

Thursday, 10 October, 2019 - 10:00
Child and Family Health

Local leaders have been invited to share expertise, enthusiasm, networks and knowledge about the complexity of food and physical activity in our region as part of a National Health Medical Research Council funded initiative operating in Mansfield and throughout the region.

Council is working with Deakin University to explore the topic and collaboratively find ways to improve children’s health.

Mayor, Cr Harry Westendorp said the purpose of the workshop on 17 October 2019, will be to use expertise and understanding about the role our local community, business, social services and schools play in influencing long-term health outcomes for children.

“As part of the workshop, the partners will explore newly collected data from students at our local schools and discuss how we can work together locally to improve children’s health,” Cr Westendorp said.

“We all want children and their families to be in good health. The health and wellbeing of our community is important and this is another program that empowers people in our community to engage in issues that affect their lives,” he said.

The project, named RESPOND (Reflexive Evidence & Systems intervention to Prevent Obesity and Non-communicable Diseases) is based on a systems-thinking model which acknowledges that things that contribute to our health are often interconnected and occur at the same time. It aims to examine rates of healthy weight, healthy eating, regular physical activity and wellbeing among school children in the Ovens Murray and Goulburn regions of Victoria.

At the workshop, community leaders will receive a summary of the key findings of data collected by Deakin University in 2019.

“Earlier this year 190 primary school students from our local schools participated in this information collection. Data on physical activity, nutrition, weight status and wellbeing, in Grades 2, 4, and 6 was collected,” Cr Westendorp said.

Victorian data indicates the prevalence of overweight and obese 5-17 year olds is 21.6%; that is one in five. Being overweight in childhood is linked to poorer health outcomes and increased chronic illness. At the workshop the Mansfield children’s data will be explored against state and national statistics.  

Cr Westendorp said two more workshops for the program will follow in November.

“The next stage will be a gathering of community champions and leaders to create community led action. Two workshops are in the planning phase for November 11 and 12. These workshops will be open to all community members and leaders interested in improving the health and wellbeing of Mansfield’s children. Their ideas, passions and actions will be collated and these workshops will also undertake planning for implementation.”

Anyone interested in these workshops or the RESPOND program can get more information from Jenny Lovick, Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing Team Leader on 5775 8603.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 October, 2019 - 10:06