Neami acknowledges the importance of good physical health as significant component of overall health and wellbeing. Neami makes it a priority to support the physical health of consumers and staff.
Mental health issues can contribute to a lack of regular health checks, poor follow up from primary care, challenges to maintaining healthy behaviours, and disconnection from local health services. The side-effects of medication can also impact on physical health.
Neami recognises that these are connected to mental health and provides the support required to maintain physical fitness.
Research has identified that people with mental illness have a significantly reduced life expectancy. Mental health services that incorporate physical health strategies are needed to bridge this gap.
We have recruited dedicated Health Promotion Officers in each state who are tasked with increasing the capacity of staff to work with consumers on physical health issues.
- Physical health screening
- Smoking cessation
- Oral health
- Management of chronic disease
- Healthy behaviours
- Peer Health Coaching
Also, our Senior Manager Innovation and Projects oversees a range of Health Promotion projects and initiatives.
Neami Health Prompt
We use a resource called the Health Prompt to help guide conversations with you about a range of physical health issues. Health Prompt conversations assist in identifying the areas that are most important to you in regards to your physical health.
Peer Health Coaching (PHC)
Peer Health Coaching involves a peer support worker providing coaching and support to an individual around their physical health. This extends the role of Neami staff with a lived experience of recovery into the critical area of physical health.
Our peer health coaching program is a partnership with SANE Australia.
Healthy and sustainable eating
Eat Plant Learn was developed by our Sustainability Team, in collaboration with the Health Promotion Team and a working group of staff and consumers.
It offers a range of opportunities for people to engage in sustainable activities that are relevant to their recovery goals.
Oral Health Project
We have established partnerships with a number of dental schools to conduct oral health research, design and implement resources, and to participate in Dental Health Week activities.
Research conducted in Victoria identified significant barriers that prevent or minimise the likelihood of consumers accessing dental health services.
Data from the review of the Neami Health Prompt also shows that increasing numbers of consumers are now accessing dental health services on their own or with assistance.
We will continue to explore how we can support people to overcome the barriers to oral health.
Staying summer and skin smart
In warm weather, it is important for consumers and staff to be vigilant in managing their physical health. We regularly update our 'Mind the Weather' resources and encourage everyone to discuss how they will seek support and provide support around these issues, especially in preparation for heat waves.
Active8 is a person-centered physical health program to identify and work on physical health goals. The program is delivered across the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region and offers a combination of the one-to-one Peer Health Coaching and the group based Eat Plant Learn program.