Prevention is better than cure: A hands-on, play-based, innovative, health and well-being program in remote Australia

Prevention is better than cure: A hands-on, play-based, innovative, health and well-being program in remote Australia Journal Article

Children

  • Author(s): Mathiasen, Lis
  • Published: 2014
  • Volume: 1
  • ISBN: 2227-9067

Abstract: A key to improving the quality of life in remote communities is the empowerment of children who are at health and educational risk. Between 2002 and 2009, at a remote Aboriginal school, students and community members participated in an innovative, play-based health and well-being program aimed at helping children to become self-determining and responsible for their own health and well-being. Holistic in its approach, and broad in its scope, the multi-faceted program encompassed the fundamentals of personal hygiene; understanding of body systems; the importance of nutrition, hydration, sleep and exercise; brain care; the biology of emotions, with particular emphasis on anger management and the critical interplay between emotions and behavior; the impact of substances of abuse on the brain; as well as the Hospital Familiarization Program (HFP) which prepares children for planned and unplanned hospitalization. Program outcomes included improved school attendance and student engagement; increased community awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle; improved self-concept, self-esteem and self-confidence; as well as increased respect and caring for self and others. A reduction in children’s fear and anxiety when facing hospitalization and visits to the doctor was also evident. Each year, 12,500 children throughout Western Australia enjoy the benefits of the HFP.

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Suggested Citation
Mathiasen, Lis, 2014, Prevention is better than cure: A hands-on, play-based, innovative, health and well-being program in remote Australia, Volume:1, Journal Article, viewed 16 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14261.

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