Phoebe has worked for Uniting NSW.ACT for 15 years. Currently an Operations Manager specializing in mental health services. She is passionate about increasing mental health awareness and equitable and inclusive access to mental health supports for all Australians.
Title: Healthy me
Author(s): Phoebe Connors, Antoinette Tipple,
Introduction: Healthy Me was co-designed with clients from Uniting NSW.ACT HASI Plus program. A lifestyle club where clients are coached individually and in groups. Clients learn about the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Under the guidance of an Exercise Physiologist, clients can then continue with the learnt changes once they graduate from the HASI Plus program.
Method: Clients have an initial assessment with the Exercise Physiologist who takes some initial observations. Baseline observations include weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, smoking status and diabetes status. Exercise History includes looking at how physically active the client is and what physical activity they are participating in. Functional Assessment includes time assessed activities such as push ups, planks and toe touch. Nutrition and Diet includes discussing current dietary intake such as vegetables, fruit, low/reduced fat dairy, wholegrains, junk food/sweets/soft drink. Possible healthy alternatives will be discussed with clients. Goals are established and reviewed with the Exercise Physiologist every month. Baseline Observations are reviewed every 3 months and every 6 months a full functional assessment is conducted. Clients get a starter kit when they join the healthy Me program that includes a gym bag, drink bottle and gym towel. The more the client engages with the program the more initiatives are available such as getting a pair of sneakers professionally fitted at the Athlete’s Foot.
Results & Findings: Out of 20 clients 10 have now joined the Healthy Me program. In 2 months, client X lost 20kg and he increased his daily physical activity from 3 days to 4 days. He changed his activity types to Flexibility, Strength and Aerobics Endurance.
Discussion: The Healthy Me program has been so successful at HASI Plus that Uniting NSW.ACT is now expanding it into the other psychosocial programs such as Community Living Support and Housing and Accommodation Support Service and hiring additional Exercise Physiologists.