All-Ways Healthy campaign at work

So I came up with this Wizard idea to have a health promotion week at work.  Just why do I open my mouth some times?  It took a while for the Principal of the college to agree (why does management always move at a snails pace when it comes to making a decision?) and now it is happening next week.

  • Monday – Healthy Bodies
  • Tuesday – Healthy Minds
  • Wednesday – Healthy Leisure
  • Thursday – Healthy Relationships
  • Friday – Healthy Eating

Saturday – collapse in a heap in the corner with an ice pack …

I have been sending off for information packs from Macmillan Cancer Care, the Vegetarian Society, the NHS, Riverford Organic vegetable box system and other organisations.  I’ve got a whole load of herbal and green teas for staff to try and we have the Teenage Cancer Trust coming as well as young people’s bereavement counsellors etc.  But the question is … will it make a difference to the students at the college, or the staff for that matter.

When it comes to raising awareness about ill health it seems that the only message that many people will listen to, or take in is the ‘positive’ message that ‘you will be a survivor’.  This is not about scaring anyone, it is getting them to realise that they should be aware of symptoms and what they can do to have a healthier life.  Of course getting the medical profession to take them seriously about their symptoms is another matter entirely.  My GP treated me as though I was a bit of a waste of space and because I am over weight hand have had depression since I stopped going to school when I was 14 I should just ‘go away and come back when things get worse’.  Get worse for me meant that by the time anyone would really take me seriously, and because I was still only 47, meant that my cancer had already spread and if they had listened, even after being diagnosed with breast cancer, they would have realised I was already Stage IV although I was initially told I was Stage II, or was it III – which ever it was turned out to be irrelevant anyway.

Maybe if only one or two of the 4,000 odd people of campus most days takes notice of the message of responsible exposure to the sun, to check their breasts and testicles and give up smoking then I guess it would be worth it.  The trouble is that for that age group they think they are immortal and at 25 you are teetering on the edge of your old age pension and moving into a residential home.  For those of us who have been there, and done that, there is an appreciation of how time flies.  One minute you are in your twenties, and then you turn around and you are 53!  What happened to those L O N G hot summer holidays when you could barely remember what school was by the end of them.  How sad it is that you can’t put an old head on young shoulders.  I guess everyone with cancer, or any other life threatening disease, can look back and think that if only they hadn’t drunk diet sodas, had eaten more fibre and brown bread, less meat, more vegetables … things might have been different.  Ultimately we can only do the best that we can at any one time.  I just have to hope that the best I can do next week is to get a few of them to stop and think.


1 Comment

  1. You will do fine as a mentor! If you speak, they will listen! Just reaching one teenager is all you need and then stuff just seems to go viral from there! It’s that one kid that you will impress that will carry that message for you but the trick to getting their attention is to just have fun with it!!! Teach them about the good and the bad…sometimes they are more prone to hearing the bad first so do that for the shock and awe and then come back swinging with a funny ancedote about eating your veggies! LOL! I have a feeling your going to charm the socks off them all!!!!

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Health Communications and Health Advocacy

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