Well-being and Preventative Health

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Initiative Title: Well-being and Preventative Health
Category: Infrastructure Initiatives

Future of Manly Hospital Site – Well-being and Preventative Health

One of the main reasons our local Northern Beaches’ communities want a community-driven health care facility on the Manly Hospital site is to provide access to an array of innovative health care services specially aimed at “getting ahead of the curve”.  Essential elements of this new model are the need for access to well-being and preventative health initiatives that take pressure off our current hospital systems by facilitating individuals taking greater responsibility for their own health and providing a hub to support the concept of “home hospital” and “home care” enabled through the innovative use of technology and social networking.  Rather than re-actively queuing up at hospital emergency centres, GP receptions, the community seeks to be empowered with “self care” education, support and facilities.    “Self care”, is a broad concept which is relatively new and, with support and help from health professionals, which offers habits and practices that facilitates better indivual health, happiness, well-being and healthy mind.     

According to NSW Health and the Australian Health Tracking service, the NB community is generally healthier than the average suburban and rural regions across NSW.  This has a lot to do with our healthy lifestyle in being so close to our beautiful beaches.   However there are areas where serious gaps exist in our general well-being and preventive health, namely:-

  1. Alcohol and excessive drinking
  2. Smoking
  3. Obesity, overweight and Type 2 Diabetes
  4. Addictions (drug, gambling, etc.)  

And there are other more subtle problems, far more prevalent than you might imagine – sleep deprivation, social disconnection, nutrition, mental health (depression, anxiety), etc.  Most of these are what’s commonly called “self-inflicted” social issues that are, in the main,  self-preventable, self-correctable and self-controllable.  These apparently self-inflicted addictions are often a by-product of a person’s social situation, upbringing and living circumstances (for example a marriage break down).  Associated with such “self-inflicted” social issues are even bigger social challenges – the need to bring about a mindset shift in both social attitudes and individual behaviours.  This is what makes the eradication of these social issues such a challenge.  For these circumstantial issues and social problems are often affiliated with more serious physical health problems, such as heart, liver and lung disease, cancer, mental-illness and diabetes – some of our biggest social killers. 

According to the 6 May’17 Manly Daily article (by Cross and Matijevic), the worst of these afflictions across the Northern Beaches is “Drinking”.   With 1 in 5 of us consuming more than two standard drinks a day (the acceptable standard).  “Our danger suburbs are Bayview, Elanora Heights and Mona Vale where 25% of those aged 15 and over indulge in drinking too much alcohol.  The national average is 16%.   Avalon, Palm Beach, Newport and Bilgola are our second biggest consumers of alcohol, while Manly ranks 3rd.”  In summary 19.9% of the Northern Beaches population drink at higher levels than the national and state averages.  And its these types of afflictions that are putting the most pressure on our hospital systems.  Our hospitals typically can only address the symptoms, leaving the root causes to persist, resulting in a repeat of the the symptoms and a return to the hospital system.  

While the peninsular performed better in terms of child and adult obesity, diabetes and smoking, the local statistics highlighted the main other problem areas were associated with being overweight, obese and the often affiliated high level of diabetes. For example 23% of our children aged 2 – 17 and 60% of the adult population (18 & above) were overweight.  The Australian national average is a staggering 63.5%.  

More importantly, what do people do, where do they turn in these  numbers (over 20% of our population) when/if they find themselves inflicted with one or more of these highly addictive and self-inflicted problems?   There is clearly major gaps in our current array of available health care facilities across the broader Northern Beaches.   Hence the reason why one of the Community’s preferences is for our Manly Community Hospital site to make an array of well being and preventative health outlets  available on the site to break this cycle of non-correction for these major health problems.   Much of these outlets could be public/private retail presence where both on-site and members of the broader NB community could turn to in having these (in the main) “self-inflicted” issues, attended to and made sustainable through the formation of group therapy education and support sessions, not unlike the “Biggest Looser” program conducted at our Artillery Centre.   Such on-site ancillary retail outlets would deliver self-preventable, self-correctable and self-controllable techniques and tools so that individuals might engage in effective measures of sustainable self-help.  

There is much written elsewhere on this important subject.  This can be accessed from this web site’s home by pressing the “Seeking Self Help” – “Empower Me” button or simply pressing the link below:-


Contact Name: Darryl Dobe
Contact Email Address:
Start Date: 20-Jun-2017
End Date: 21-Dec-2018
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Volunteers already signed up for this Special Project Initiative (if any)

  1. Darryl Dobe   

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