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Healthier You

Healthier you provides access to information on a range of different health topics and provides connection to free and low cost programs and services that can help you to improve your health.

Have Your Say

We are working to make healthier food choices easier.  Click here for the Healthier Food Choices survey.  

Don’t forget to visit this page in February to find the survey results.

Free coaching programs to improve your health

Six months free and personal assistance is just a phone call away. 

Get Healthy offers free telephone based counselling to support you to achieve a healthier lifestyle.  Your coach will work with you to set goals relating to eating healthier, increasing exercise and personal health goals that are relevant to you. You can register online for a coach to call you or phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

My Health for Life offers face to face or telephone support and is designed to assist you to make positive lifestyle changes in order to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lifestyle related cancers. Complete the health check to assess your chronic disease risk and to see if you meet the eligibility criteria. If you would prefer to do this over the phone you can call 13RISK (13 74 75).

COACH  offers free telephone based counselling for individuals who have a chronic disease. Your COACH can help you manage your chronic disease and take steps to improve your overall health. Call 13 HEALTH (13 45 25 84).

Get Active

Regular physical activity supports good health and can help prevent unhealthy weight gain as well as assist with weight loss. Check out some of the programs which you can join to help you become more physically active including:

Active and Healthy Gold Coast offers free and low cost community activities targeted at all age and fitness levels.

Parkrun offers free, weekly, 5km walk/run events across the Gold Coast. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. People of every ability are encouraged to take part; from walkers or those taking their first steps in running or those who just want to connect to their community.

Queensland Health’s Getting Active page for a range of 30 minute exercise programs.

The 10,000 Steps program which gives you practical advice on how you can reach the recommended daily step total as part of your everyday routine.

The Heart Foundation walking program provides opportunities for you to connect with local walking groups led by volunteer walk organisers; you can use the postcode searcher to find a group near you.

Queensland Health’s Dieting and weight management page includes information on calculating your body mass index (BMI), health and fitness age and provides information on how to make healthier food choices.

Gold Coast nature trails
There are endless opportunities to connect and immerse yourself in nature right on our doorstep, with 691 kilometres of recreational trail and 35,000 hectares of bushland reserves, Conservation Areas and National Parks to enjoy across the City. Whether you like to bushwalk, trail run, bird watch, photograph, picnic, kayak or just relax in nature there is something for you.

Australian 24-hour Movement Guidelines for children and young people (5-17 years) provides recommendations for 24-hour physical activity, sedentary and sleep behaviours for children and young people in Australia. Children and young people are encouraged to live an active lifestyle with a daily balance of physical activities, sedentary behaviours and sleep that supports their healthy development. These guidelines are relevant to healthy children and young people.

Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (Birth to 5 years) integrates Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep. The guideline includes recommendations for infants (under 1 year of age), Toddlers (1 and 2 year olds) and Pre-schoolers (3-5 years).

Eat healthier

The Gold Coast Health Appetite4Change program offers allied health support for weight management based on eating awareness and building skills to integrate mindful awareness into your eating habits.  Call 1300 668 936 to find out more about this program.

Queensland Health’s Dieting and weight management page includes information on calculating your body mass index (BMI), health and fitness age and provides information on how to make healthier food choices.

The council Active and Healthy program also offers free and low cost healthy cooking workshops, nutritional seminars and information on where to purchase fresh local based produce on the Gold Coast (search food)

Food can have a big impact on our day-to-day mood changes and mental wellbeing. Many of us find ourselves trying to boost our mood with a sugar hit. Unfortunately, while this might seem like a good short-term fix, it can actually end up making a low mood worse. Find out what food we should be eating to support better mental wellbeing.

Healthier Choices

Gold Coast Health is taking the lead by offering drinks of high nutritional value to patients, visitors and staff at all of our facilities. We are creating an environment that makes healthy food choices easier by improving the range, availability and promotion of healthy foods and drinks, while limiting the availability of less healthy options. This is in line with Queensland Health’s A Better Choice strategy and the Health Service Directive: Healthier Drinks in Healthcare Facilities which comes into effect from 1 July 2019.

Research shows that ease of access to food is a big influence on eating behaviour. It is therefore important to ensure nutrient rich foods are provided as an easy choice, and easy access to unhealthy food and drink in work areas is reduced.

The consumption of foods high in saturated fat and refined sugar is known to be associated with a range of long-term health issues. These issues include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, obesity and short-term impacts on body functions. Cognitive functions such as memory, attention, speed and flexibility have all been found to be impaired by high saturated fat intake and sugary food and drinks are one of the main causes of tooth decay. The majority (73%) of young people (14-18 years) have been shown to be consuming too much sugar and in 2018 more than 94,000 Gold Coast adults and 6,400 children (5-17 years) were experiencing obesity.

Water as a drink of choice will be promoted and accessibility to refill stations across all facilities will be highlighted to help reduce plastic waste. Staff and visitors will be encouraged to use their refillable bottles where appropriate. Gold Coast Health is also working with Council and other venues to promote the consumption of tap water from refill stations through the Choose Tap collaboration.

Read more about healthier choices in the Healthier Food and Drinks Guideline

For further information regarding Healthier Food and Drinks initiatives email: healthyGCH@health.qld.gov.au

Happy and healthy go hand in hand. If you’ve been talking about getting in shape or eating better then you’re in the right place. Explore all the healthy recipes, fun exercise videos and handy guides to get you started. Find your healthy happy!

Helping you find your Healthier. Happier Calculate your health and fitness age?

 

Sexual health

Gold Coast Sexual Health offers free and confidential services for testing and treating sexually transmissible infections (STIs) at the Southport and Palm Beach clinics.  No referrals are necessary. 
You can also visit Queensland Health’s Sexual health page for a range of information in relation to looking after you sexual health.

Qlife is a counselling and referral service for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI). Q-life provides nation-wide, early intervention, peer supported telephone and web based services to people of all ages across. For further support from this service call 1800 184 527 (between 5:30-10:30pm).

Men’s health

Men experience different health concerns at various life stages. Check out what you can do to stay healthy throughout each decade of your life.

Lifestyle choices are important factors in maintaining health and wellbeing visit Queensland Health’s Men’s Health page for some tips.

Healthy Male provides information on a number of male health related topics.
  
Men’s Shed is a community-based organisation that's accessible to all. It provides opportunities for social inclusion and a chance for men to work on various building and restoration projects. There are various Men’s Shed locations on the Gold Coast. 

Women’s health

Females experience different health concerns at various life stages. Check out what you can do to stay healthy throughout each decade of your life here.

BreastScreen Queensland  Women aged between 50 and 74 are encouraged to attend a breastscreen every 2 years. Women are eligible to attend this free service from 40 onwards. An appointment can be made online via the website or by phoning 132050.

Cervical Screening The National cervical screening program aims to prevent cervical cancer by detecting early changes in the cervix.  Visit this website to find out more about cervical screening (pap smears). You will need to book in with your doctor to have the test done.

Jean Hailes information relating to menopause, sexual health, breast health, fertility and a range of other womens health related topics.

Contraception options are available.  It is recommended that you discuss contraception options with your doctor to find the one which is most suitable for you.

Griffith University in partnership with other tertiary education providers are running a number of women’s wellness programs.

Managing shift work

A shift workers guide to nutrition provides practical advice on how to maintain good nutrition as a shift worker.

The Sleep Health Foundation offers useful information on how to manage your sleep patterns and what you can do to ensure you are getting enough sleep while undertaking shift work.

Parenting and children

The Raising Children Network website provides free, reliable, up-to-date and independent information to help your family grow and thrive together. Designed for busy families and full of tips and tricks for parents to try. The articles, videos and interactive resources are tailored to different ages and stages, taking you from nurturing a newborn to raising a confident, resilient teen – and helping you to look after yourself as a parent too.

Growing good habits website provides advice and suggestions to assist with small changes to improve eating and physical activity habits for children.  

The Nature Play Qld program aims to increase the time Queensland children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature. It is founded on the understanding that unstructured play outdoors - nature play - is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood.

The city of Gold Coast’s Active and Healthy kids program provides a range of activities such as after school fitness, running groups, athletics, dance and a school holiday program.

Immunisation

Immunise GC provides local information on immunisation programs, including; during pregnancy, childhood, school immunisations and free community clinics.

Download the VacciDate app on apple or android to help manage your child’s vaccinations schedule (for children up to 4 years of age).

Visit Queensland Health’s Immunisation page for information on the National Immunisation program including what vaccinations you may require throughout varying stages of your life. 
 

When times are tough

There are a range of support services you can access if you are experiencing financial hardship or need help with basics such as food or shelter.

My community directory lists over 60 welfare and support services locally offering varying supports including free food.  

Red Cross Relief provides a number of services including supporting older adults in the community by ensuring their basic needs are met and they have opportunities for social connection.
Providing mental health support programs to build bridges back into the community, parent support programs and programs aimed at high risk and vulnerable populations.

Lifeline offers information and support programs as well as a financial counselling. Contact 1800 007 007 (9:30am-4pm Monday to Friday).

St Vincent de Paul Society provides a range of financial support services on a one-on-one basis for people seeking assistance.

The Salvation Army offers emergency relief, no interest loans, financial counselling and other welfare services to help with your financial difficulties.
 

Quit smoking

Visit Queensland Health’s Quit Smoking page for a range of options to support you to quit smoking and enjoy a healthier smoke free life.

Visit the Department of Health’s Get Ready to Quit page to review quitting options.  You can choose a quitting method you feel comfortable with and that suits your lifestyle.

My QuitBuddy is a mobile phone app designed to support and encourage you on your journey to becoming smoke- free.  The app can support you through the hard times with helpful tips and distractions to overcome cravings; tracking systems to chart your progress and all the facts you need to understand the impact smoking has on your health.

Alcohol and drug use

Visit Queensland Health’s Drug use: help and treatment page for information, advice and referral options.  

DrinkWise provides facts about drinking, advice for parents and a drinks calculator which shows you how much alcohol is in different beverages.   You may be surprised by the alcohol content of some drinks.

My Drinking Choices provides a short quiz which can be used as a guide to understand your alcohol use and potential issues. (This is a Queensland Government site, however access via some browsers may suggest the site is not secure).

The Alcohol and Other Drugs Service (AODS) provides innovative solutions to reduce the harmful impact of drug use. The service works closely with non-government organisations referring clients for continuing support.  To contact the AODS service you can call 1300 744 284.
 

Mental health

If you are looking for support to improve your mental wellbeing the Active and Healthy recovery program may be suitable. This program assists individuals with a lived experience of mental illness to re-engage in exercise to improve social connections and both physical and mental health.

Beyond Blue offers facts about mental health, support services and information on how to help your family and friends. For more immediate support you can contact the beyondblue support service line on 1300 22 46 36 (open 24/7).

Lifeline offers online tools and information in relation to mental health and available support services.  For 24hr crisis support you can also contact the Lifeline call centre on 13 11 14.

Gold Coast Health offers a range of Mental Health Services providing assessment, treatment and support to individuals who experience a mental illness. Services are provided depending on individual need and range from inpatient treatment to support in the community.

Headspace offer an online free and confidential space where young people (aged between 12-25) can chat, email or speak with a qualified youth mental health professional.  You can also speak to someone in person by visiting your nearest headspace centre.

Manage your chronic disease

Health assessment for people aged 45 to 49 years who are at risk of developing a chronic disease
A health assessment at this stage of life can assist patients to make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease. A Medicare rebate is payable once only for each eligible patient.

A chronic disease or condition is one that has been, or is likely to be present for at least six months, including (but not limited to) asthma, cancer, cardiovascular illness, diabetes mellitus, a mental health condition, arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition.

Active and Healthy Gold Coast includes a range of free and low cost remedial activities for people who have a chronic disease.  Check out the Active and Healthy webpage for more information on these sessions including location, time and cost.

COACH offers free telephone based counselling for individuals who have a chronic disease. Your COACH can help you manage your chronic disease and take steps to improve your overall health. A variety of chronic disease wellness programs are listed on the HealthyGC directory.

Call 13 HEALTH (13 45 25 84) to enquire about this program.

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, there are a variety of chronic disease wellness programs that can assist you to understand and know how to manage your condition.  Information on these programs is available at HealthyGC directory. It is important to discuss exercise options with your GP. You may be eligible to access individual allied health services through a care plan.

This can include exercise allied health support that in many cases can be bulk billed with no out of pocket expense. If your GP confirms you are eligible, they will complete a referral form and refer you to a provider.  A range of local exercise service providers can be found on the HealthyGC directory.

Cancer screening

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program  invites Australians aged over 50 to participate in bowel cancer screening with the use of a free, simple at home test.  In order to receive your in home test, you will need to make sure Medicare has your correct address.

Sun safety is important for everyone. The Cancer Council offers information on how to protect yourself and others from skin cancer.  A Sunsmart app is also available to download for iOS (apple users) or Android (all other smart devices) which helps you to keep track of UV levels throughout the day and receive reminders for the times of the day when UV levels are higher. The app also has a function which you can use to set reminders for you to reapply your sunscreen.

Planning a large event? Gold Coast Health has developed  Mass Gathering Sun Safety Guidelines.

Health Literacy

How we understand information about our health and health care, and how we apply that information to our lives, use it to make decisions and act on it is referred to as our ‘health literacy’.

As a consumer we are the experts about our own health care needs and priorities, and are best placed to explain our requirements.

Be Health Aware portal provides links to evidence-based patient guides to help explain the health care choices we need to make, whether in relation to a particular disease, treatment, service or policy.

Be Health Aware also suggests 5 questions to ask your healthcare professional to help you to choose your care wisely.

Workplaces

Healthier.Happier.Workplaces  supports employers to create a work environment that:

  • Improves the health and wellbeing of employees
  • Increases business productivity
  • Enhances workplace culture.

Queensland businesses can use the information on this website to learn about workplace health, set up effective programs and access a wide range of resources for  employees- including tips and information to help them plan their personal health and wellbeing journey.


Last updated 06 Dec 2019