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Health & Wellbeing
Supporting healthy habits
Because we hang out with our own bodies and minds all the time, we tend to take them for granted and forget how amazing they are. And while humans are pretty complex and capable of all sorts of incredible things, looking after ourselves boils down to some simple principles.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet; getting enough sleep; being physically active; being social taking care of these basics helps us be as physically and, in turn, as mentally healthy as we can be.
You can help your children and young people establish healthy habits that they’ll – hopefully carry throughout their lives. The best thing you can do is to set an example and make living healthily a positive, enjoyable choice – rather than something to be endured.
Here are some tips:
Physical Activities and Hobbies
Encourage kids to keep active. They might join a sports team or the local gym, ride their bike, walk the dog, go for a run or help coach a local sports team. The main thing is getting out and having fun.
How much activity children or young people are willing to do will depend on their interest in being active. Starting small and building up might be what they need.
Fit physical activity into everyday activities – like walking to school or the shops instead of driving.
Suggest they exercise with a friend to help keep them motivated.
Encourage them to try as many different things as they can – art, music, IT, rock climbing, writing poetry – so they can figure out what they’re into.
Suggest they set some goals for the next day, week or month – something that they enjoy or find rewarding and is achievable.
Ensure there’s a range of food available at home. Include a variety of healthy foods such as plenty of vegetables, fruit and cereals (like bread, rice and pasta), some lean protein (meat, chicken, fish or tofu) dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese) and lots of water. It’s a good idea to avoid fatty foods and foods with lots of sugar in them.
Get children and young people involved in cooking family meals and making their own lunches. There are countless kid-friendly recipes online – give them a go!
By choosing and eating healthy food as a family from the time kids are very young, you help them learn about making healthy food choices. This lays the groundwork for when they’re older and eating out, or eating away from home – without you there telling them to lay off the chips and chocolate.
Cook when you have time and energy and freeze bulk portions.
Social Activity and Healthy Relationships
Help your children and young people create and maintain a sense of belonging to the family, their friends, culture and their community.
Encourage them to hang out with friends or suggest social activities that might be of interest, such as sports, after-school clubs, playing in a band, listening to music or going to the movies.
Strong connections with their cultural heritage, family and community has big mental health benefits for children and young people, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Suggest they attend cultural and community events – offer to go along with them or give them a lift.
Help with transport to community events or activities such as youth centres, LGBTI pride groups, young people’s cultural groups or other activities.
Encourage them to talk about any relationship difficulties they are experiencing. Offer an objective view of the situation without judgment or pushing your own advice.
Normalise the feelings associated with relationships changes – the good and the bad.
In Bendigo we have many services you contact if you or anyone in your family are experiencing mental health difficulties or financial burden. The impact of the Corona19 Virus in March 2020 has affected many of our families mental wellbeing as well put financial strains on families. Below are a number of services offered in our area to help those families in need. Feel free to press on any relevant links:
Care Packages containing food from the Victorian Government – Call corona virus hotline on
1800 675 398 Can register for two weeks worth of food.
Food Relief Centres in Bendigo (List from the City of Greater Bendigo) https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/City_of_Greater_Bendigo_Food%20relief%20info_April_2020_pdf_1.pdf
Life Essentials/Madcow is open each week day -214 Hargreaves St. They have food and get FoodShare. Fresh produce each Tuesday and Thursday.
MENTAL HEALTH - ADULTS
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
Beyond Blue 24 hours 7 days a week – 224 636
Centre for non-violence – 96-98 Pall Mall Bendigo – 5430 3000
Lifeline on -13 11 14
MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978
MENTAL HEALTH - KIDS
Kids Helpline - 1800 551 800
eHeadspace provides online (chat services) and telephone support and counselling to young people aged 12 to 25. Ph: 1800 650 890, https://www.eheadspace.org.au/
Lifeline: 13 11 14 (available 24/7)
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 (available 24/7)
Suicide Line Victoria (24/7 counselling for those struggling with their mental health, those concerned about others in their life or may otherwise be affected by suicide) –
ph:1300 651 251
Qlife: Counselling and referral service for LGBTI people - Ph: 1800 184 527 (3pm – 12am)
beyondblue: Ph: 1300 22 4636, 24 hours / 7 days a week.
Crisis Care - If you, or a loved one, requires urgent mental health assistance please call the Bendigo Regional Triage Service on 1300 363 788. This service operates 24 hours, 7 days a week and acts as the single point of entry into clinical mental health services.
If anyone in the Karen community has concerns or questions about changes to Coronavirus restrictions, testing or what close contact means, please visit our Coronavirus Refugee Resource Hub anytime by using this link https://bit.ly/CoronavirusRefugees or call our Coronavirus Telephone Hotline on
5406 1254 between 1.30pm and 4pm Monday to Thursday to talk with one of our Karen speaking staff.
Haven; Home, Safe
Low income housing program
10/16 Forest St · Near D-Club 24/7 Fitness Centre & Gym
(03) 5444 9000
Bendigo National Hotel Motel
182 High St
(03) 5443 0591
171 Hargreaves St
(03) 5445 0990
Anglicare Bendigo - Children & Family Services
175-187 Hargreaves St
9AM Mon · (03) 5440 1100
Helping with emergency food and aid for families. Supporting homeless and disadvantaged people with daily food distribution through
Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre
259 Hargreaves St · Near Bendigo Justice Service Centre
Mon · (03) 5441 1404
Their website mentions assist, accommodation and homelessness
Centre For Non-Violence Inc
96 - 98 Pall Mall · Near Bendigo Justice Service Centre
9AM Mon · (03) 5430 3000
The Salvation Army Bendigo
65-71 Mundy St
(03) 5440 8410
Their website mentions accommodation and homelessness
St Luke's Anglicare Victoria - Bendigo
10 Mundy St · Near Bendigo Justice Service Centre
Mon · (03) 5434 3922
Their website mentions help homeless and accommodation
St Vincent De Paul Assistance Centre Bendigo
16 Hopetoun St
Mon · (03) 5443 5688
Golden Hills Motel
145 Marong Rd
(03) 5443 1333
Aruma (formerly The Tipping Foundation) Bendigo
168 High St
1300 538 746
Community Housing Ltd
134A Mollison St
9AM Mon · 1300 245 468