Health promotion at VicHealth.

This month we completed some rewarding writing work for VicHealth.

It was rewarding because, wedged between our strategy work, it’s always refreshing to express the creative juices. To use a coloured pencil as well as the fine-liner, so to speak.

Mainly, it was a chance to remember what health promotion is and what it means to everyday Australians.

To remind oneself that the best research, the best minds, are isolated without a strategy and materials to take their findings and advice to health practitioners and the rest of us.

Health promotion is ‘the process of enabling people to increase control over the determinants of health and thereby improve their health’. Its a definition based on the World Health Organisation Ottawa Charter 1986 and promoted by the  Australian Health Promotion Association.

It is empowerment. The transfer of information from laboratory to person to improve health and wellbeing.

When formed, VicHealth was the only organisation of its kind in the world. It had bipartisan support (imagine that!). Its funding, in delicious irony, sourced from taxes on Big Tobacco.

The VicHealth Letter has been in circulation since 1994 and is now celebrating its 40th edition, due for distribution very, very soon. This humble publication has been translating the work of researchers, sharing data and inspiring change for two decades.

With an expanding reader base of health advisors, it is continuing to help Victorians plan a healthier, happier existence.

That means less hospital visits and more taxpayer dollars for other community benefits.

Communication. It is the critical factor in every good strategy and program. And nowhere is this more important than health.

If you want someone to read, remember and change their behaviour, you need to be creative in message, channel and tactic. You need to engage well and often. Because there are big dollars behind unhealthy food and bad habits.

We’re proud to live in a community that has VicHealth.

Talk to us about health promotion.

image credit: via VicHealth TheLetter – Issue 39