HEALTH AND WELLBEING PROGRAM GENERATES A WEALTH OF BENEFITS
25 October: Council's funding of $100,000 for programs to improve the health and wellbeing of Scenic Rim residents has returned an estimated $1.4 million on its investment.
Council's funding of $100,000 for programs to improve the health and wellbeing of Scenic Rim residents has returned an estimated $1.4 million on its investment and contributed to a wealth of benefits for the wider community.
The Scenic Rim Health and Wellbeing Plan outcomes update, tabled at Council's Ordinary Meeting this week, showed the wide-ranging benefits of a program which has assisted individuals, community groups and sporting and recreational organisations in improving health outcomes and strengthening the social fabric of the region.
Mayor Greg Christensen said there was overwhelming evidence from Australia's foremost health researchers that investment in community wellbeing by local government was vital in improving future health outcomes.
"As outlined in a report by Queensland Health last year, every dollar spent on preventative health initiatives has a return on investment of $14," he said.
"The work that councils are engaged in in community health and wellbeing throughout Australia, particularly in Queensland, has not traditionally been part of their core business.
"However, the state and federal governments need to fully recognise the benefits of programs provided at the grassroots as the costs of doing nothing about health and wellbeing would represent a much greater burden on the community for future generations."
During the 2018-19 year, Council's health and wellbeing initiatives have resulted in more than 18,000 connections within the community, through the Be Healthy and Active program, and events such as Queensland Day and Youth Week celebrations, movies in the park and volunteer thank you morning teas.
"In the past 12 months we have reached out to smaller communities and involved people who would not necessarily participate in health and wellbeing programs so this is money well spent, particularly in these difficult times when people can feel socially isolated," Cr Christensen said.
Cr Virginia West, who with Cr Michael Enright is part of the Scenic Rim Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group, said the varied and diverse program offered in the past year had helped to establish community connections for new residents as well as members of the community who were experiencing tough times.
"It has been a privilege to serve on the advisory group which has brought together agencies from around the region, under the chairmanship of John Bartlett OAM, and helped to build stronger communities throughout the Scenic Rim," Cr Enright said.