Help to Health in Clarence
Good access to health services is a common problem for some residents in Clarence and the new Help to Health project aims to address this issue.
There are many free health services available, such as the 24-hour Healthdirect line, (1800 022 222) which allows callers to speak to a registered nurse and get professional advice without needing to go to a doctor or call an ambulance.
Through research it has been discovered that many residents aren’t aware services such as this exist or aren’t sure of how to use them. By increasing community awareness the project hopes to change this by empowering residents so that they can take more control of their health-related needs.
An important part of the project will be the training of ‘Health Champions’ – everyday people in the Clarence community who would like to volunteer their time to the benefit of others. Health Champions will receive training and education in how to assist other people to confidently get the help they need for their health.
The Help to Health champions could be of any age, a worker or volunteer from any walk of life – all that is needed is a desire to help others in the community and have the ability to learn about available health services via information training and support sessions.
There is no experience required, only some commitment of time to learn the required information.
“The role of a Health Champion is very informal, it’s about casually talking with those around you in your community, whether it be your family, friends, neighbours or colleagues- allowing them to better help themselves,” said Mayor of Clarence, Alderman Doug Chipman.
“We’ve all heard of stories where an ambulance was called for non-life threatening cases- often because the patient simply didn’t know that their local chemist could help them or that they could make a free call to get advice.
“There are plenty of people out there who want to help and empower others -this is a great way to do that and will have lasting benefits for both individuals and health services in Tasmania.”
There will be ongoing information sessions over the next several months as a part of the project and with other supporting organisations to the Help to Health project. The project will also partner with local health and community organisations to work with them to provide ‘The Right Place’ and ‘It’s OK to Ask’ training sessions.
To find out more information on how to get involved by becoming a Health Champion, visit www.liveclarence.com.au/about/healthy/help-to-health-project/. Alternatively, contact Clarence City Council ‘Help to Health’ Project Officer, Kate Franke on 6282 0397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.