The health and wellbeing of workers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds is the focus of this year’s Multicultural Health Week, launched today by Health Minister Jillian Skinner.
Local MPs Kevin Connolly (Riverstone) and Andrew Rohan (Smithfield) joined Mrs Skinner at the event aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles for multicultural communities.
“Multicultural Health Week is a fantastic opportunity for everyone in the workplace to have the conversation about making healthier choices when it comes to food and fitness,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Multicultural Health Week 2014 will promote the Get Healthy at Work program, which addresses the management of chronic disease risk factors for those in the workplace.
“I’m incredibly proud of the Get Healthy at Work program, a joint initiative of NSW Health and WorkCover NSW, which aims prevent lifestyle-related chronic disease in workers by changing their eating practices, weight, smoking habits and alcohol consumption.
“NSW Health expects up to 15,000 workplaces will participate in the $12 million, two-year program, potentially reaching 400,000 workers.
“It is estimated there are more than three million workers in NSW and many of these individuals are working behind desks and are sedentary for most of their day.
“Nineteen per cent of these workers reported their main language spoken at home as a language other than English and more than 20 per cent were born in a non-English speaking country.
“For this reason, it is vital to ensure CALD workers have access to information and resources which promote physical activity, healthy eating and smoke-free environments – these are the key messages of Multicultural Health Week.”
Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello said Multicultural Health Week encourages workers who speak a language other than English to access a variety of multilingual resources which address their health needs.
“This year’s theme promotes the importance of having a healthy program at work which increases productivity, improves wellbeing, job satisfaction, as well as encouraging the retention of staff.
“Whether it’s using the stairs instead of an elevator, preparing healthier homemade lunches or increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables, each step counts on the journey to a healthier lifestyle.”
Mr Connolly said: “Multicultural Health Week is a unique opportunity for multicultural community members to talk about leading healthier lifestyles. Looking after yourself is a vital way to avoid unnecessary hospitalisations.”
Mr Rohan said: “It’s important for us all to support one another on the path to living healthier lifestyles. I’m pleased to see resources are readily available for CALD communities thanks to the Multicultural Health Communication Service.”
Mrs Skinner said there are services in NSW that offer support to workers and employers to help them with being active, eating healthy and being smoke free at work.
“New resources have been produced for workers and employers from CALD backgrounds including a multilingual booklet entitled “Practical Tips to Get Healthy at Work” in Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese and English.
“Print, radio, television, online and digital advertisements Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese will appear in ethnic media promoting tips for workers to get healthy at work. Outside banners will also be on display at Auburn, Blacktown and Hurstville councils,” Mrs Skinner said.