Leonie Yasso, former Diabetes Coordinator and Strategic Advisor for the My Health for Life (MH4L) program at QAIHC, participated in a Diabetes Australia led technology update on 13 August 2021 to discuss improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
The technology update is now a video Q&A series published by Diabetes Australia featuring interviews with experts talking about developments in diabetes health practice. The Q&A series are periodically published on the Diabetes Australia Facebook page.
Ms Yasso talked about MH4L and her broader participation in the project, how it benefits communities and how it can be utilised as a culturally appropriate prevention program for diabetes and chronic disease.
Originally, the idea stemmed from a risk assessment program which was not culturally appropriate for mob. The project team took that concept, shifted focus, developed a new strategy, delivered pilot programs, and created a model which meets the needs of community.
Encouraging employees to take part in a workplace initiative to improve their health and wellbeing has benefits for both the employer and employee. Improving the health and wellbeing of workplaces can have benefits such as improving employee engagement, lower staff turnover, and less absenteeism and sick leave. Individuals are likely to cope better with stress and are less likely to be injured at work. These are just a few of the many benefits of a healthy workplace. MH4L is free to workplaces.
There are a range of ways to integrate the program into your workplace wellness framework depending on the size and needs of your organisation. Options include:
- tools and resources to encourage and assist your staff to complete a MH4L health check online or by phone
- a workplace event where all staff can complete a face-to-face health check with the
- access to the MH4L program via group sessions or telephone health coaching.
MH4L is a state-government-funded initiative, delivered by an alliance of health organisations. It is designed to help Queenslanders stay well and lessen their risk of developing conditions such as type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Importantly, it was created in collaboration with all our members and many other organisations across the state. Their input drove the creation and final program model.
MH4L explores topics such as nutrition, physical activity, understanding your personal risk of developing health conditions, and how to make healthier choices a part of everyday life.
With the support of a coach, individual participants will also develop an action plan. Whether the goal is to get more active, eat better, stress less, or lose weight, the focus is on building a step-by-step plan to help you achieve your goals over time.
The MH4L community is diverse and includes local health professionals, cultural groups and communities, sporting groups, local councils, and workplaces across Queensland. We share a common goal of wanting to live happy, healthy lives.