Healthy lifestyles for everyone in Latrobe.

There is a more universal focus on health and wellbeing as the basis of everything, and the economy is secondary. This presents an opportunity to reimagine how communities can enjoy and benefit from a healthy lifestyle into the future. Now is the time to address the impact of health inequities and entrenched social disadvantaged that is experienced by some people in Latrobe. 

There is emerging interest in the foundations of living healthy and well. Increased awareness of the importance of exercise and many examples of cooking healthy meals at home. 

Discussions about health and wellbeing are becoming increasingly prominent. There is a realisation that without healthy communities, there cannot be a healthy economy. Health and wellbeing is now seen as everyone’s business. 

Some people have realised that spending more time at home has helped them to slow down and enjoy the opportunity to rest from what was a busy and demanding lifestyle. There are pockets of joy. You need a release point each day – if you don’t get out of the house, you go crazy. When you look after yourself, you’re able to look after others. 

Community workers have observed an increase in food insecurity and fear this may continue when government income supports reduce. With physical distancing measures in place people accessing food programs are not provided the opportunity to choose which foods suit their family. 

People who are experiencing financial stress have shared their desires to prioritise healthy food and exercise for themselves and their families and identified some of the barriers that prevent this from happening. The barriers include price differences between healthy and unhealthy food options, cost and access to public transport and the mental health impacts of financial and employment circumstances beyond their control. 

A local exercise group for older people is seeing signs of people’s health deteriorating as a result of not being able to participate in classes. They have observed an increase in falls and decline in mental wellbeing for some participants. Group organisers have a desire to offer classes again and to help people utilise their brains and enjoy exercise together