Our health priorities

Overall, the Boroondara community has good health and quality of life.

However, we identified 6 health priorities for Council to focus on. These came from research and consultation completed to develop the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2021–25:

  1. Improving mental wellbeing and social connection
  2. Tackling climate change and its impacts on health
  3. Preventing all forms of violence
  4. Reducing harmful alcohol use
  5. Increasing healthy eating
  6. Increasing active living.

These health priorities are informed by the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2019–2023 health priorities and represent the most significant preventable causes of poor health and wellbeing in Boroondara. We will use a life stage approach to address the health priorities. However, it’s also necessary to focus our actions on health inequities for certain groups in our community. 

These groups include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • older people living alone
  • single-parent families
  • people with disability and carers
  • people with low English language skills
  • LGBTQIA+ community members
  • people who are homeless and social housing tenants. 

This approach is supported by our wellbeing commitment set out in this Plan.

Each year, an annual action plan will outline how we will implement these health priorities. Annual action plans and evaluation reports will be available online. We will also regularly update the health indicators online.

Download the Health Priority Annual Action Plan 2022-23

Health priority outcomes and why they matter

Improving mental wellbeing and social connection

People feel connected to others, have a sense of belonging, can cope with the usual stresses of life, and have opportunities and the capacity to contribute to community life.

Mental health is an essential part of individual and community wellbeing. It significantly contributes to the social, cultural and economic life of our city. The benefits of preventing mental ill health and supporting social connection at all life stages are not just for the individual. They are for the whole community.

Tackling climate change and its impacts on health

Communities are resilient and safe through adapting to and preventing the health impacts of climate change.

Climate change affects our health and wellbeing in different ways. This includes through the impacts of extreme events, worsening air quality and effects on our mental health. Actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change can have direct and indirect co-health benefits. This includes promoting active modes of travel, which also reduce air pollution, and increasing our tree canopy to reduce the urban heat island effect. 

Preventing all forms of violence

People feel safe, respected and live their lives free from violence.

We all have a right to feel safe, respected and to live our lives free from violence. Family violence has a big impact on health and wellbeing, including:

  • worsened physical and mental health
  • loss of housing
  • loss or limited access to employment
  • financial insecurity
  • isolation from family and social support 
  • death in extreme cases.

Reducing harmful alcohol use

People are supported and encouraged to make healthy choices to reduce harmful alcohol use.

Alcohol-related harm is a significant preventable health issue. Drinking too much can lead to harmful short-term and long-term effects. 

It can have negative impacts on:

  • a person’s mental and physical health
  • a person’s family 
  • the wider community.

Increasing healthy eating

Nutritious food is accessible to all, with healthy choices supported and encouraged.

People who don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables can have poor health and a higher risk of diseases. People who eat healthily can have better mental and physical health. 

Increasing active living

Physical activity is encouraged, supported and easily incorporated into daily life.

Daily physical activity can prevent many diseases such as:

  • heart disease
  • some cancers
  • diabetes
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • depression. 

Physical activity is also a health co-benefit of taking action on climate change by encouraging more active travel.