The Healthy Eating Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL™) Program

Are you a health professional looking for a program aimed at addressing chronic disease? Have you been looking for an evidence-based program to offer to your clients? One that supplies you with minute-by-minute session plans and is abundant with resources? Did you know that ESSA has a program that offers all of this?

The Healthy Eating Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL™) program is a lifestyle modification program that enables participants to develop lifelong healthy eating and physical activity behaviours. HEAL™ consists of 8 weekly group education and group exercise sessions as well as individual consultations pre- and post-program, plus 5 and 12-month follow-up health consultations. Each week participants undertake 1-hour of supervised group-based low to moderate intensity physical activity followed by a 1-hour group-based healthy lifestyle education class.

HEAL™ is specifically designed to assist people who are obese, are at high risk of chronic disease or who have one or more chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. People who are ready to change their behaviour will also benefit from participating in HEAL™. Such persons should be ready to start planning simple steps and take appropriate action to improve their lifestyle.

HEAL™ education and exercise sessions are facilitated by health professionals trained to support individuals who may be unfamiliar with how to make positive health and lifestyle changes or who may be unsure of how to safely take up physical activity. HEAL™ facilitators are trained and encouraged to incorporate principles of self-managed change into all their participant interactions.

Looking to get involved? Only individuals who have completed a HEAL™ Facilitator training course and hold or are covered by a current HEAL™ licence may deliver the program. To be eligible for HEAL™ Facilitator training, individuals must be a tertiary-trained health professional, including, but not limited to: Accredited Exercise Physiologist,  Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Accredited Exercise Scientist, Nutritionist, Physiotherapist, Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse, Aboriginal Health Worker, Health Promotion Officer, or Occupational Therapist.

HEAL™ Facilitator training workshops may be arranged in your local area subject to demand (minimum 6 attendees). The HEAL™ project team have also created an online platform for training.

Facilitator testimonies

“I have had two very simple, yet rewarding success stories, with two separate participants sharing with me that they were able to tie their own shoelaces for the first time in years after completing the program.” – Chris Moore, AEP Cockburn Healthy Lifestyle Program

“Received an email from a participant who went on to lose 12 kg post HEAL™ – she has sent me a photo of 12kg worth of 1kg sugar bags in a shopping trolley as a representation of how well she had progressed.” – Megan Hardy, Dietician Cockburn Healthy Lifestyle Program

“It’s fun, inclusive, diverse, and conveys a holistic and client centred group program. We steer away from prioritising weight loss as a measure of success. The goal setting every few weeks keeps our participants motivated, we support them to continue working towards their goals. HEAL™ is by far my most favourite program I deliver!” – Ellen Smith, Health Promotion Officer WACHS

“Up until recently we have not plugged the program on social media and still fill our programs with a wait list 2-4 weeks prior to starting session 1 of the program.” – Steven Royle, AEP & AES Ipswich

Interested in learning more about Lifestyle Medicine?