When developing the Boroondara Community Plan, we examined data indicative of the health and wellbeing status of the Boroondara community. Overall, we discovered that the Boroondara community reports good health and quality of life.

However, the data does reveal areas of concern that require additional attention. In particular, the following health and wellbeing priorities emerged:

These health priorities represent the most significant preventable causes of poor health and wellbeing in Boroondara, as well as those areas where we can work with local health and community organisation partners to make changes that influence the health outcomes of the community. 

These priorities are also based on the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-19. Our focus on these areas will contribute to improved health and wellbeing for Victorians. 

Promoting mental health and social connection 

Mental wellbeing is the embodiment of social and emotional wellbeing – not merely the absence of mental illness. It is a dynamic state in which people are able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build positive and respectful relationships with others, and meaningfully contribute to the community (VicHealth, 2018).

A 2015 survey by VicHealth included five indicators measuring mental wellbeing.

  • Resilience (range 0–8)
  • Perceptions of neighbourhood – people are willing to help each other
  • Perceptions of neighbourhood – a close-knit neighbourhood
  • Perceptions of neighbourhood – people can be trusted
  • Low gender equality in relationships score

The average resilience score among adults in Boroondara (18+ years) was 6.4 out of eight (where eight indicates high resilience), with young adults aged 18-24 years showing the lowest resilience (5.8). VicHealth points out that that youth is a period of high risk for developing mental illness. For all young people to be successful into the future, resilience is an important asset required.

Boroondara had lower mental wellbeing status compared to Victoria on two of the mental wellbeing indicators: 69.1% of Boroondara residents agreed that people in their neighbourhood are willing to help each other compared to 74.1% in Victoria, and just over half the Boroondara residents agreed that they live in a close-knit neighbourhood (51.7%) compared to 61.0% in Victoria. However, Boroondara residents were more likely to agree to the statement “people in this neighbourhood can be trusted” than in Victoria generally (76.6% compared to 71.9%).

The gender equality score examines attitudes to gender equality in relationships. It asks respondents about their level of agreement with the following statements: “Men should take control in relationships and be the head of the household” and “women prefer a man to be in charge of the relationship.”

Scores were derived from these two items measured on 5-point Likert scales, ranked from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’, which were then combined and converted into scores out of 100. Scores on this indicator were divided into three categories, where ‘low’ represents a score equal to or less than 70, ‘medium’ represents a score of 80 or 90 and ‘high’ represents a score of 100.

The proportion of those with a low gender equality score was used as an indicator of support for gender equality in relationships. Among the Boroondara residents interviewed, it was revealed that 30.4% had a low gender equality score. This is lower than the percentage in Victoria (35.5%), indicating that Boroondara had a better score in terms of attitude to gender equality.

Table 1: Mental wellbeing status in Boroondara 2015, % of respondents that agree for Victoria, Boroondara overall and Boroondara age-groups (Source: VicHealth Indicators, 2018)

Age group (years)

Resilience score (average)

“People around here are willing to help their neighbour”

“This is a close-knit neighbourhood”

“People in this neighbourhood can be trusted”

Low gender equality score (%)

Victoria

6.4

74.1%

61.0%

71.9%

35.7%

Boroondara overall

6.4

69.1%

51.7%

76.6%

30.4%

18 - 24 years

5.8

61.6%

46.5%

73.9%

-

25 - 34 years

6.2

62.3%

49.2%

71.2%

-

35 - 44 years

6.7

74.7%

58.8%

82.7%

-

45 - 54 years

6.2

62.7%

46.2%

75.6%

-

55 - 64 years

6.7

78.8%

54.5%

82.4%

-

65 - 74 years

7.0

69.4%

55.9%

71.9%

-

Psychological distress

Psychological distress is an important risk factor of heavy drinking, smoking and drug use. It has also been directly linked to several diseases and conditions such as fatigue, migraine, cardiovascular diseases, injury, obesity, depression and anxiety (VicHealth 2016).

A measure of psychological distress, the Kessler 10 Psychological Distress Scale (K10) has been included in the Victorian Population Health Survey to assess levels of psychological distress within four categories - low, moderate, high, and very high.

Most Boroondara residents reported having low levels of psychological distress (70.3%), a higher proportion than across Metropolitan Melbourne (61%) but 10.5% residents reported to have high or very high levels of psychological distress (see Table 2).

Table 2: Percentage of population (18+ years) by level of psychological distress, 2014 (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 2018)

Level of stress (K10)

Boroondara

EMR

Victoria

Low stress

70.3%

64.9%

61.3%

Moderate stress

17.4%

20.5%

22.4%

High/Very high stress

10.5%

11.6%

12.6%

Preventing injury and violence 

The Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD) collects information on emergency presentations at Victorian public hospitals.

Table 3 shows the top ten causes of injury in Boroondara in 2016-17. Of all Boroondara residents who received emergency service/care where the primary diagnosis field was injury, the leading cause of injury was reported to be fall from less than one meter height (35.% of all injuries), followed by struck by collision with person (14.2% of all injuries).

Some injuries were dominated by males. As shown in Table 4, more than three-fourths of injuries sustained by cyclists occurred among male residents. Collisions with persons and objects were also common in males.

Human intent of injury is defined as clinician's assessment identifying the most likely role of human intent in the occurrence of the injury or poisoning. As shown in Table 4, females were predominantly involved in intentional self-harm.

Table 3: Top 10 causes of injuries in Boroondara and their comparison with Eastern metropolitan region, 2016-17 (Source:  Department of Health and Human Services, Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (unpublished data), 2018)

Injury cause

Boroondara no.

Boroondara %

EMR

%

Fall <1 metre or no height information

2314

35.4%

36.8%

Struck by or collision with object

926

14.2%

15.0%

Other specified external cause

806

12.3%

9.8%

Unspecified external cause

648

9.9%

12.7%

Cutting piercing object

439

6.7%

6.8%

Struck by or collision with person

370

5.7%

5.6%

Fall >1 metre

177

2.7%

2.4%

Poisoning - medication

149

2.3%

1.4%

Pedal cyclist - rider or passenger

124

1.9%

1.7%

Motor vehicle - driver

85

1.3%

0.8%

All others

505

7.7%

7.0%


Table 4: Injuries with the highest percentage difference between males and females, Boroondara residents, 2016-17 (Source:  Department of Health and Human Services Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (unpublished data), 2018)

Injury type

Number

Females %

Males %

Pedal cyclist - rider or passenger

124

22%

78%

Struck by or collision with person

370

25%

75%

Struck by or collision with object

926

35%

65%

Falls >1 metre

177

41%

59%

Cutting piercing object

439

42%

58%

Non-intentional harm

5349

45%

55%

Intentional self-harm

184

71%

29%

Other injuries

See Family Violence and Road safety and injury from falls 

Reducing harmful alcohol use  

Drugs and alcohol

Through its links to injury, accidents, violence and more than 200 physical and mental illnesses, alcohol is one of the top 10 avoidable causes of disease and death in Victoria (VicHealth 2013). Regular, excessive consumption of alcohol places people at increased risk of chronic ill health and premature death, and episodes of heavy drinking may place the drinker (and others) at risk of injury or death.

Residents in Boroondara reported a higher increased lifetime risk and a higher increased single occasion risk of alcohol-related harm compared to Melbourne overall (Table 5). The City of Boroondara also had higher rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2014 compared to the Eastern Metropolitan Region and Victoria overall (Table 6).

Table 5: Lifetime risk of alcohol-related harm, by risk category, 2014 (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 2018

Alcohol-related harm

Boroondara

EMR

Victoria

Abstainer/ no longer drinks

12.5%*

18.5%

20.8%

Reduced lifetime risk

18.5%

19.7%

18.3%

Increased lifetime risk

68.4%^

60.4%

59.2%

*Significantly lower than the rate for Victoria overall
^ Significantly higher than the rate for Victoria overall

Table 6: Risk of alcohol-related injury on a single occasion, by risk category, 2014 (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 2018)

Summary of alcohol-related harm, rates per 10,000 persons (year)

Boroondara

EMR

Victoria

Alcohol-related hospital admissions (2012-13)

57.8

51.3

43.7

Alcohol-related deaths (2010)

1.2

1.2

1.1

Alcohol-related assaults (2012-13)

3.5

6.5

15.3

Alcohol-related serious road injuries (2012-13)

2.1

2.5

4.1

Ambulance attendances where alcohol was mentioned (2012-13)

20.5

21.4

29.8

Alcohol-related courses of treatment delivered (2012-13)

13.5

18.9

27.4

Alcohol-related emergency department presentations (2012-13)

10.5

11.5

11.2

Alcohol-related family violence incidents (2012-13)

8.1

14.0

26.7

*Significantly lower than the rate for Victoria overall

The City of Boroondara also had higher rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2014 compared to the Eastern Metropolitan Region and Victoria overall (Table 7).

Table 7: Selected indicators of alcohol-related harm, rates per 10,000 people, City of Boroondara, Eastern Metropolitan Region (EMR), and Victoria, (Source: Turning Point AODstats, 2018)

Summary of alcohol-related harm, rates per 10,000 persons (year)

Boroondara

EMR

Victoria

Alcohol-related hospital admissions (2012-13)

57.8

51.3

43.7

Alcohol-related deaths (2010)

1.2

1.2

1.1

Alcohol-related assaults (2012-13)

3.5

6.5

15.3

Alcohol-related serious road injuries (2012-13)

2.1

2.5

4.1

Ambulance attendances where alcohol was mentioned (2012-13)

20.5

21.4

29.8

Alcohol-related courses of treatment delivered (2012-13)

13.5

18.9

27.4

Alcohol-related emergency department presentations (2012-13)

10.5

11.5

11.2

Alcohol-related family violence incidents (2012-13)

8.1

14.0

26.7

Drug and alcohol-related ambulance attendances

Table 8 compares rates of drug and alcohol related ambulance attendances per 10,000 people for Boroondara and Metropolitan Melbourne from 2013-14 to 2016-17. In 2016-17, Boroondara had a lower ambulance attendance rate than metropolitan Melbourne for the majority of the drugs.

Alcohol (alcohol intoxication related or alcohol-only related), had the highest rate of ambulance attendance both in Boroondara and the Metropolitan region. It accounted for 47.8% of all attendances in Boroondara and 49.7% of the attendances in the Metropolitan region.

The greatest increase in ambulance attendance rates in Boroondara between 2014-15 and 2016-17 was in pharmaceutical drug-related attendances with an overall increase of 23 per 10,000 people.

Table 8: Rate of drug and alcohol related ambulance attendances per 10,000 people in Boroondara 2014-15 to 2016-17, and Metropolitan Melbourne 2016-17, (Source: Turning Point AODstats, 2018)

Attendance type (rate per 10,000)

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Metropolitan Melbourne 2016-17

Alcohol Intoxication-related

235

254

217

367

Alcohol Only-related

190

201

176

300

Any Pharmaceutical Drug-related

98

112

121

180

Any Illicit Drug-related

72

94

80

126

Benzodiazepines-related

45

57

50

61

Other Analgesics-related

26

34

29

46

Antipsychotics-related

19

18

22

37

Cannabis-related

19

29

20

55

Amphetamines-related

20

26

18

41

All Heroin-related

18

22

16

12

Other Stimulant-related

-

15

15

10

Antidepressants-related

21

13

14

35

Crystal Methamphetamine-related

15

19

13

32

Other Heroin-related

10

12

10

7

Opioids-Related

8

9

10

23

GHB-related

7

14

8

6

Heroin Overdose-related

8

10

6

5

Alcohol-related hospital admissions

Boroondara has a higher trend in the rate of people being admitted to hospital with alcohol-related causes than the Eastern Metropolitan Region (EMR) and the metropolitan Melbourne region.

Figure 1 shows that the rate of alcohol-related admissions in Boroondara had been trending down since 2009-10 until 2014-15 (with a slight increase between 2011-12 and 2012-13) when the lowest rate was observed in 10 years. However it went up in the following year (2014-15) with a 20% increase. Rates in both the EMR and the metropolitan Melbourne region have steadily increased from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

Graphs shows trends for Boroondara, Eastern and metro area of alcohol-related hospital admission rates. See table below figure 1 for data

Figure 1: Trends in alcohol-related hospital admission rates per 10,000 people (Source: Turning Point AODstats, 2018)

*Note that the rate for the Eastern Metropolitan Region (EMR) is the calculated as the average rate of the seven local areas

Table for Figure 1

Location

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

Boroondara

69

72

57

76

82

59

63

60

52

72

Eastern Metropolitan region

41

61

42

60

56

50

48

53

56

58

Metropolitan Melbourne

43

41

43

45

53

47

46

48

53

56

Promoting healthier eating 

Energy dense but nutrient-poor foods contribute more than one-third of the total daily energy intake of contemporary Australians, and only one in 10 adults meet the recommended minimum daily intake for vegetables. As a result, one in four Victorian adults are now obese.

Poor nutrition accounts for around one-sixth of the total burden of disease and costs Victoria between $1.25 and $4.15 billion every year (VicHealth 2013). Daily intake of fruit and vegetables is used as a measure of the quality of a diet in Australia and internationally. Less than one in 20 people in Boroondara and metropolitan Melbourne eat the recommended servings of both fruit and vegetables.

Table 10 compares Boroondara’s level of compliance with the Australian fruit and vegetable guidelines against the Eastern Metropolitan Region and Victoria. Less than 5% of Victorians, including Boroondara residents, complied with both fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines.

This is due to low compliance with the vegetable guideline, with nearly half meeting the fruit consumption guideline. Forty-five percent of Boroondara residents met fruit consumption guideline about 4% less than the Eastern Metropolitan Region.

Table 9: Daily vegetables and fruit consumption, 2014 (source: Department of Health

Daily vegetable consumption

Boroondara

Eastern Metropolitan Region

Victoria

< 1 serve of vegetables per day

3.0%

4.8%

5.8%

1-2 serves of vegetables per day

60.5%

59.8%

59.1%

3-4 serves of vegetables per day

28.9%

27.6%

26.2%

5+ serves of vegetables per day

6.7%

6.8%

7.4%

< 2 serves of fruit per day

55.1%

50.8%

51.2%

2+ serves of fruit per day

44.7%

48.1%

47.8%

Table 10: Compliance with the Australian fruit and vegetable guidelines, 2014 (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 2018)

Compliance with government guidelines

Boroondara

Eastern Metropolitan Region

Victoria

Met both guidelines

4.6%

4.4%

4.4%

Met vegetable guideline only

5.8%

6.0%

6.4%

Met fruit guideline only

44.7%

48.1%

47.8%

Did not meet either

53.5%

48.7%

48.6%

Promoting active living 

Physical activity is a major modifiable risk factor for a range of conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety, and falls among the elderly.

The Victorian Population Health Survey 2014 included questions about the time spent on a variety of physical activities (for example walking, vigorous household chores and keep-fit exercises). The survey placed people into three categories of activity: sedentary; insufficient time and sessions; and sufficient time and sessions.

In 2014, more than half of Boroondara's residents met the criteria of sufficient exercise (55.1%), a higher proportion than for Melbourne overall (Table 11). Boroondara also had a higher percentage of residents (55.1%) with insufficient time and/or session for physical activities.

Table 11: Physical activity status, City of Boroondara, Metropolitan Melbourne and Victoria, 2014 (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 2018)

Physical activity status

Boroondara

Eastern Metropolitan

Victoria

Sedentary

3.2%

3.6%

3.6%

Insufficient time

40.4%

49.4%

50.4%

Sufficient time

55.1%

43.6%

41.4%

Insufficient time:  <150 min and/or <2 sessions, per week
Sufficient time: ≥50 min and ≥ 2 sessions per week

Table 12: Physical activity status, City of Boroondara, Metropolitan Melbourne and Victoria, 2014 (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 2018)

Physical activity associated with occupation

Boroondara

Eastern Metropolitan

Victoria

Sitting

70.8%

60.0%

49.6%

Standing

17.8%

16.1%

18.4%

Walking

3.4%

13.1%

16.0%

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