nib foundation announces 2021 'Health Smart' grant partners

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Six Australian charities, which will deliver programs such as skin cancer checks and exercise regimes to improve students’ mental health, have received grants totalling almost $250,000 from the nib foundation.

nib foundation executive officer Amy Tribe said its commitment to helping people develop healthy habits and lifestyles is reflected in each of the new 'Health Smart' grant partners.

“By increasing the health literacy of our local communities we can influence people to make good health decisions. Decisions which will positively impact their health and wellbeing, and reduce modifiable health risks in their lives,” said Mrs Tribe.

“That’s why we’ve chosen to partner with Australian charities that not only specialise in health promotion and primary prevention but have real, tangible experience engaging and empowering people to be health smart in their everyday lives.”

Mrs Tribe said COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of Australians and that the new partnerships reflect the need to provide greater support to programs aimed at addressing the issue.

“We know the mental health of our university students could be improved, and we understand that many students suffer unacceptably high levels of anxiety and depression. The BrainPark PEAK pilot offers evidence-backed findings about exercise making a real difference. It aims to build habits that last a lifetime,” she said.

“BrainPark has found that the type, intensity and frequency of exercise enhances cognitive skills and brain health. One of the great aspects of this program is that students who might not identify as having low self-esteem or being overly anxious, will sign up for an exercise program fundamentally designed to help them increase their brain health and overall wellbeing,” she added.

nib foundation said it will also support the Butterfly Foundation’s Body Kind Families that helps parents understand the links and risks between poor body image, dieting, wellbeing and eating disorders. It also aims to arm parents with the tools and strategies to identify warning signs and intervene early.

This year’s grants will also support the development of a Spot Bot, an electronic reminder to get your annual skin check-up, The Banksia Project’s Virtual Growth Rooms that provide an online space for men’s mental health initiatives and Live Life Get Active’s Always Here, which is an internet-based program that supports exercise, better mental health and diet habits.

nib foundation will also give two of the charities a chance to have their funding doubled through our ‘People’s Vote’ which will be decided by nib members, shareholders and the broader public.