Department of Health

Health promotion

Key messages

  • Health promotion aims to improve the health of the whole population, and prevent the burden of diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 
  • Agencies funded to do health promotion include health services, community organisations and women’s health services.
  • There are resources available to guide organisations in how they undertake health promotion work.

There is growing evidence worldwide of the benefits and effectiveness of investing in health promotion programs, that take a place-based and collaborative approach that align the work of all partners in local communities to deliver the best possible impacts for the community.

A place-based approach recognises that people and places are inter-related and that the places where people spend their time play an important role in shaping their health and wellbeing.

Funding for community and women’s health services

Health Promotion is a funding source available to community and women’s health services across Victoria to support local delivery of evidence-based prevention and health promotion initiatives.

Over 130 community health services, small rural health services, women’s health services and statewide organisations are funded.

The state government also funds 28 Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs).

Each PCP represents a specific subregion within Victoria and is based on alliances between a range of service providers in the catchment area that may include hospitals, community health services, women’s health services, local government and Primary Health Networks.

Planning advice 2017-2021

Advice for public health and wellbeing planning in Victoria: planning cycle 2017-21 will assist councils and funded agencies with health and wellbeing planning and implementation for the 2017-21 cycle. It outlines Victorian policy directions, supplements the Guide to municipal public health and wellbeing planning for councils, and provides information on the requirements and expectations of funded agencies.

This shared advice for councils and funded agencies emphasises the importance of collaboration to improve the health and wellbeing of local populations.

This advice also emphasises the importance of incorporating place-based prevention principles in planning and implementing initiatives, including:

  • aligning local actions with the local Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan, and the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019-2023
  • a commitment to leadership for health promotion and prevention at all levels
  • a focus on equity
  • an ongoing process of reflection and adaptation to ensure strategies are effective and sustainable
  • health promotion and prevention efforts are focused on delivering long term outcomes for local communities
  • health promotion and prevention initiatives are developed and delivered at a scale that can impact on the health and wellbeing of large numbers of the population.

Guidance for Health Services 2017-2018

Guidance for Health Services implementing preventive health initiatives 2017-18 will assist health services with health and wellbeing planning and implementation for the 2017-21 cycle. It outlines the policy context, prevention definitions, primary prevention principles and examples of practical local prevention activities that can be undertaken by health services. Health services deliver action all all levels of prevention. Health services funded to deliver health promotion deliver action in primary prevention.

Primary prevention aims to prevent problems occurring in the first place by eliminating or reducing the underlying causes, controlling exposure to risk, and promoting factors that protect health and wellbeing, safety and social outcomes.

Legislative context

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 the State has a significant role to play in promoting and protecting the public health and wellbeing of all Victorians.

The vision of the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019-2023 is for a Victoria free of the avoidable burden of disease and injury so that all Victorians can enjoy the highest attainable standards of health and wellbeing and participation at every age.

Reviewed 20 December 2021


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