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Youth Council Spreads Health Message

Good Food for Mental Health project was identified to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for the Latrobe City population.

By Portal Admin - 15th September 2020 - Back to News

Young citizens in Latrobe City are helping to keep the community healthier.

Members of Latrobe City Youth Council have been taking part in the Good Food for Mental Health Project, in conjunction with Food For All Latrobe Valley.

Community workshops found that poor mental health was a barrier to some people consuming a healthy diet and also a potential consequence of eating an unhealthy diet. According to the Food and Mind Centre, higher quality diets are linked to reduced risk of experiencing depression, while unhealthy diets, such as those high in processed foods, are tied to increased depression and anxiety.

Seventeen per cent of Latrobe City residents experience high or very high psychological distress, which is greater than for the rest of Gippsland and Victoria. More than half of Latrobe residents do not eat the recommended amount of fruit or vegetables, the Department of Health and Human Services found.

In response to this, the Good Food for Mental Health project was identified to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for the Latrobe City population. As part of that, the Latrobe City Youth Council members have started drafting an imaginative and engaging advertising campaign to encourage community members to think about making healthier choices when selecting the foods they eat. This campaign will educate the community and promote the benefits of eating healthy food, and the links healthy eating has to improving moods.

"We want to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of the Latrobe City community, particularly to younger people like ourselves who are now forming good habits for life," Latrobe City Youth Council Mayor Natasha Murcott said.

Youth Council members receive an introduction to local government and Australiaís three levels of government. Recently, they have participated in Council Meetings, online question and answer sessions with councillors and the executive team, and have held their own meetings.

"The Council values the Youth Councilís input. We have regular meetings with them online and observe their council meetings so that we are informed and engaged in the decisions made within our community," Natasha said.

Expressions of interest to take part in Youth Council can be submitted online:

Youth Council is open to young people aged 12 to 18 who live, work or study in Latrobe City.

The Youth Councilís participation in the Good Food for Mental Health Project aligns with Councilís Living Well Latrobe Health and Wellbeing Plan, which promotes mental health and healthy eating.


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