Our health promotion priorities

Two male and two female RkPG staff members stand beside a sign reading ‘Welcome to Rockingham General Hospital. You are now entering smoke free grounds’.In collaboration with stakeholders including Local Government Authorities (LGAs), community groups, workplaces and schools, SMHS Health Promotion delivers important services to keep people in the south metropolitan area (PDF 2MB) living longer and stronger lives.

Our health promotion priorities are:

  • Curbing the rise in overweight and obesity.
  • Increasing healthy eating and improving food security.
  • Increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour.
  • Reducing smoking rates and exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Reducing harmful levels of alcohol use.
  • Preventing injury and promoting safer communities.

Read below to learn about the projects and activities SMHS Health Promotion delivers to address these priority areas.

SMHS Health Promotion works to actively improve obesity outcomes through various local government and community healthy eating and physical activity projects.

Living with overweight or obesity has a significant impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of people and their families. Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and 13 types of cancers.

Obesity is the result of many complex systems, including:

  • food supply
  • transport and urban design
  • business and trade
  • socio-cultural, marketing and communication influences
  • education, health, legal, economic, and governance systems.

With overweight and obesity affecting 1 in 4 children and 2 in 3 adults, halting the rise in obesity is vital to improving health outcomes. 

Maintaining a healthy weight can decrease your risk of a range of obesity-related health problemsvisit Healthy WA (external site) and learn how to lower your risk of developing ongoing health problems.

Our projects

SMHS Health Promotion is transforming hospital and community environments to make the healthy choice the easy choice for the SMHS community. This is being achieved by providing greater access to nutritious food and drinks and promoting healthy eating, active transport and movement.

  • In partnership with City of Kwinana, Kwinana Marketplace Shopping Centre and Cancer Council WA, the installation of Eat Brighter, LiveLighter messaging at three entry points to the centre have improved health outcomes in the local community through increased sustained fruit and vegetable sales across the shopping centre since 2018.

Working collaboratively with stakeholders, SMHS Health Promotion creates healthy food environments that support making the healthy choice, the easy choice. This includes ensuring safe and dignified access to nutritious food is available for all in our community, but especially the most vulnerable.

It is recommended Australian adults aged 18 years and over eat 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables daily to protect against the risk of various diseases, including:

  • coronary heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • stroke
  • digestive system cancers.

Health eating is important for everyonevisit Healthy WA (external site) for advice on the right amounts and kinds of food to eat for good health.

The work of SMHS Health Promotion supports the Department of Health of WA’s Healthy Options WA Policy (external site). The policy ensures healthy options are available to all staff and visitors at WA Health hospitals, health services and workplaces.

Projects

In partnership with various stakeholders, SMHS Health Promotion creates and advocates for environments that support healthy lifestyle choices. This includes supporting:

  • initiatives to localise physical activity education and awareness
  • behavioural change towards physical activity through environmental change.

Being physically active reduces the risk of developing several chronic health conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and improves general physical and mental wellbeing.

The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines recommend that each week adults aged 18 to 64 years do either:

  • 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, or
  • 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity, or
  • an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities.

Being active helps you lead a healthier, happier life visit Healthy WA (external site) for information on how to get moving and stay moving.

Projects

  • The Creating Healthier Sporting Clubs Forum showcased how to support local sporting clubs to develop healthy cultures and club environments. Hosted in March 2020 by SMHS with the City of Kwinana, more than 35 representatives from SMHS, local government and non-government agencies attended the forum.
  • Read the Pathway to improving active living: a guide for local government (PDF 1.85MB) and learn how SMHS is supporting local governments to increase active living at a local level.

The work of SMHS Health Promotion supports the Smoke Free WA Health System Policy (external site). Under the policy WA Health staff, patients, visitors, contractors and volunteers are not permitted to smoke in hospitals, community health centres, office buildings, grounds, car parks or vehicles. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other personal vaporisers for delivery of nicotine or other substances are not permitted to be used in any area where smoking is restricted.

Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and increases the risk of developing a number of health conditions, including:

  • respiratory disease
  • coronary heart disease
  • stroke
  • several cancers including lung and mouth cancers.

It is reported that 9 per cent of the SMHS population currently smoke, compared to the 11.3 per cent of the WA state. Nationally, smoking causes 9 per cent of the total burden of disease (the impact of living with illness and injury and dying prematurely).

Projects

Learn how SMHS is support local governments reduce the harms from tobacco use at a local level in the Pathway to reducing harm from tobacco use: a guide for local government (PDF 263KB)

The SMHS Health Promotion team supports stakeholders, including LGAs, to develop and deliver alcohol harm minimisation strategies at a local level and create safer alcohol environments.

Alcohol is the most prevalent drug used in Western Australia and causes the second greatest amount of drug-related harm, with only tobacco causing more harm. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of some health conditions, including:

  • coronary heart disease
  • some cancers
  • stroke
  • blood pressure
  • liver and pancreatic disease.

No level of drinking is guaranteed to be completely safevisit Healthy WA (external site) for information reducing your risk of alcohol-related harm.

LGA alcohol profiles

Local government plays a significant role in managing alcohol-related issues and is ideally placed to facilitate a coordinated response to prevent and manage alcohol-related harm. The following alcohol profiles for LGAs within the SMHS catchment inform residents and other stakeholders about alcohol-related harms at a local level.

Projects

The SMHS Health Promotion team works collaboratively with local governments, non-government, community and key stakeholders to deliver falls prevention programs.

Falls are a significant public health issue affecting Western Australian (WA) families and the economy. They are also the leading cause of injury fatalities and injury hospitalisations in WA.

As part of its falls prevention activities, Health Promotion applies for grants under the Injury Matters program (external site) and creates environments that support healthy behaviours in line with Stay on Your Feet (external site).

Falls are preventable but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of falls visit Healthy WA (external site) for more information.

Our projects

The following are provided by SMHS Health Promotion to Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to support their public health planning:

Last Updated: 13/01/2021