The role of VicHealth in promoting health, including
The role of VicHealth in promoting health, including its mission, priorities and how it reflects the social model of health The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) was established in 1987 by the Victorian government. VicHealth was formed to promote good health
and prevent disease in Victoria and was originally funded through taxation on tobacco It works in partnership with organisations, communities and individuals to make health a central part of our daily lives. About VicHealth It is the peak body for health promotion in Victoria Its role is to promote good health for all
Victorians VicHealth acknowledges that health is influenced by many factors The principles guiding Vic healths strategic focus are consistent with the social model of health and the Ottawa Charter Vic Health itself does not run healthpromotion programs and projects in the community rather it funds and works in partnerships with organisations, communities
and individuals to create opportunities for more people to be informed about health, to learn new skills and to have greater access to activities and healthy environments. The VicHealth priorities as identified in the VicHealth Strategy and Business Plan 20092013 are: reducing smoking improving nutrition
reducing harm from alcohol increasing physical activity increasing social and economic participation reducing harm from UV exposure The VicHealth mission statement That is: VicHealth envisages a community where: health is a fundamental human right everyone shares in the responsibility for
promoting health everyone benefits from improved health outcomes Our mission is to build the capabilities of organisations, communities and individuals in ways that: change social, economic, cultural and physical environments to improve health for all Victorians
strengthen the understanding and the skills of individuals in ways that support their efforts to achieve and maintain health. VicHealth and the social model of health The approach of VicHealth reflects the social models of health, including the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, namely: Build healthy public policy
Create supportive environments Strengthen community action Develop personal skills Reorient health services Increasing participation in physical activity Focus on disadvantage populations, indigenous, disabilities and low income
helping clubs buy equipment and train staff, getting children to be more active by walking to school and playing out of school hours ( walking school Bus) promoting the importance of good urban planning to encourage walking and cycling, reduce car dependency and improve safety connecting organisations and individuals so that local communities have better access to physical activity and sporting options research about what influences people to be physically active
Reducing tobacco use VicHealth invests nearly $4 million each year to reduce harm from tobacco. The money supports Quit Victoria and the VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control at the Cancer Council Victoria. The Quit campaign runs smoking cessation programs; is involved in legal and regulatory reform; works to prevent young people from taking up smoking; and promotes smokefree environments.
Legislation on smokefree environments
On 5th May 2005, the Health Minister Bronwyn Pike announced reforms to the Tobacco Act which include: smoking bans in enclosed workplaces from 1 March 2006 smoking bans in enclosed licensed premises from 1 July 2007 bans on the promotion of tobacco products and the sale of tobacco products at underage 'music/dance' events from 1 March 2006 smoking bans in covered areas of train station platforms, tram stops and bus stops from 1 March 2006 bans on 'buzz marketing' and non-branded tobacco advertising from 1
March 2006 strengthening laws to enforce the ban on cigarette sales to young people from 1 March 2006 Increasing optimal nutrition investments in healthy eating are primarily focused on improving regular access to healthy food among Victorias most disadvantaged. In addition, work in partnership with researchers and non-government organisations to advocate for and support policies and legislation that encourage
nutritious food choices in the areas of food retail, marketing, advertising and supply Food for all VicHealth believes that local councils are best placed to develop relevant, integrated and long-lasting strategies to tackle this problem. Vic health supports councils to: making sure there are local sources of fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices ensuring that those living in poor quality housing have access
to food storage and cooking facilities improving food and cooking knowledge amongst disadvantaged groups improving transport options for those without a car increasing community awareness of the problem of food insecurity Reducing harm from alcohol VicHealth works with government and community partners to facilitate innovative
approaches to alcohol-harm reduction. an emphasis on advocacy and research to build the evidence base for policy and programs Alcohol policy Coalition Good sports program Promoting healthy eating VicHealths Food for All program supports eight local councils to increase local access to healthy and affordable food, particularly
fruit and vegetables. VicHealth is also working with health researchers and health organisations to influence policies and laws relating to food production, advertising and sales, so that it is easier for people to make healthy food choices. Diabetes Victoria is funded to create the Parents Jury, a webbased network of parents in which they can share information and work together to push for changes to improve the food and physical environments for children.
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