Month: November 2018

New Deals for Meals

Fruit shop display 1

By Kathy Te Nuku

At Harris Park Prestige Packing Co, a business service of Flourish Australia,  we noticed that a lot of employees were not bringing or buying their lunch. A lot of people would actually be skipping meals. We talk a lot about obesity, but less about not eating and skipping meals. This is also a widespread problem. It’s hard to watch, too. We worked out a way around that. 

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A three pronged attack on diabetes

farmer-1857564_960_720 threepronged

By Grant J Everett

I wasn’t surprised when the doctor diagnosed me with Type-2 diabetes. After all, I had a tonne of risk factors: eating treat foods too regularly, minimal exercise, taking certain medications, family history, being overweight, and having mental health issues. The first clue was a blood count showing my bad fats were too high (diabetes isn’t purely about sugar). The test to confirm it was simple: they took blood, I drank some sugar water, and I waited two hours for a second blood test. My blood sugar levels (BSLs) had tripled as confirmation. 

As diabetes is chronic, this diagnosis spurred me to get my health in order. I manage it in three ways: exercise, a healthy diet, and medication. 

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Tai Chi for Physical and Mental Health: It’s great for people of a more mature age

Tai_Chi1 by Craig Nagy Vancouver Canada wikipedia.jpgAll around the world you will see people practicing Tai Chi out doors. These people are outside the Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China. Photo by Craig Nagy creative commons. 

By Meredith

As many of us reach our mature years, the thought of vigorous exercise becomes less inviting and sometimes even impractical. High intensity exercises can be damaging to fragile bones and may strain weak muscles.  That’s why Tai Chi can be a much more agreeable alternative!

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Direct or indirect advocacy, clarity is important

By Annie Sykes

At present, business services employees and other people who access our services are ‘knocking at the door’ so to speak, but I have also found peer workers need support too. 

If you are a person who accesses Flourish Australia’s services, then I can provide direct advocacy. If you are not a service user, then I can still support you in other ‘indirect’ ways. 

We are a fairly large and growing organisation. We need to be sure that people are always confident that there is a just, fair and supportive process available for their issue to be aired. I believe my experience helps me sense when a little confusion about processes might be present.

Because of people’s different circumstances, we need to tailor our response to the individual circumstances, but I will always arrange a suitable time for both of us to meet. Usually an hour. 

This meeting is to help us connect, to engender a feeling of trust and to hear what has caused the person to come forward. I will then be able to advise them about appropriate channel for them to take it further, if need be.

Overall, it is important for our organisation, all our managers and workers on all our sites to be aware of the best way to handle issues, to foster a safe, co-operative and transparent process. 

Advocacy within Flourish Australia

annie.jpgAbove, centre: Annie Sykes, our Senior Independent Advocate, at a youth forum in Olympic Park.

By Warren Heggarty

People who access Flourish Australia’s services also have access to an independent advocate who will work collaboratively to resolve problems and achieve a positive outcome. 

Annie Sykes, Senior Independent Advocate reports directly to the Flourish Australia Board of Directors through its Service Quality and Risk Committee. This allows her to act independently of Flourish Australia’s management. ‘It’s all about achieving justice and fairness and a voice for people with honesty and integrity.’

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How to slash your energy bills


By Grant J Everett

Unless you like cold beans and icy showers in the dark, your home needs energy. And while electricity and gas prices are rising significantly over time, there’s a lot we can do to slash how much we use, leading to lower bills. Using less energy also helps with climate change, making it a wallet-friendly way to help the planet. It can be as easy as using your clothesline more often than your dryer.

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Keeping people safe without using force


by Grant J Everett

Restraining people against their will is something to be avoided wherever possible. There are some cases where people consider that restraint is needed to protect people from danger as a last resort. Many of us, however, consider that restraint should be used far less often or not at all in the mental health units of hospitals. 

Sarah Hughes from the United Kingdom shared some ideas which may encourage people to consider alternative approaches that may keep people safe without using force. 

Firstly, what exactly do we mean by restraint? There are a number of different types. The least obvious is ‘chemical’ restraint’. This is where a person is injected with a drug against their will with the intention of making them more ‘sedate.’ Then there are various forms of mechanical restraint which involve restricting people from moving their arms and legs or putting them in a seclusion room. 

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