PAHL Community Programs

Our Community Programs

Given PAHL’s focus on improving people’s physical and mental health, the group has developed - and continues to oversee - various successful community health programs. PAHL’s stepped approach to the development of its programs starts with community consultation – listening to people about the health issues that matter to them. PAHL then designs program drafts based on best-practice psychology principles, and/or the testing of methods in lab- or field-based settings. Programs are then provided via a soft-launch in order to establish feasibility and preliminary efficacy.

Once programs are shown to be feasible and likely to be effective on a broad scale, the group works with various stakeholders to embed them throughout the community. PAHL continues to test the efficacy of its programs after their main launch, and builds participant, stakeholder, and community input into every stage of a program’s life.

PAHL’s upcoming, current, and previous community programs are detailed below. If you or your organisation are interested in participating in upcoming or current programs, please reach out via our ‘Contact Us’ page.

Current and Upcoming Programs

Psychological distress is prevalent among, and can be debilitating for, new mothers. In 2017, PAHL developed the Mummy Buddy Program - a program in which experienced mums received communication and social support training before becoming a “buddy” to a new mum. The aim was to help those new mums make a happy and healthy transition to parenthood. As part of a 2-year pilot trial funded by Healthway, nearly 70 new mums and Mummy Buddies took part in the program through 2018 and 2019. Initial results showed that the program had strong positive effects for all involved.

In 2023, an online version of the Mummy Buddy program was developed. A randomised controlled trial of the online WebApp program, called 'Bamboo', will commence in 2024. For more background information on the Mummy Buddy program, see here.

Teaching is a high-stress, high-churn job, and school principals are seeing too many burned-out staff leaving the profession.

PAHL’s GRIT program is a social support, resilience-building, and coping initiative designed for, and with, school teachers. The GRIT program has been successfully delivered and embedded into numerous Australian high schools. Please contact us if you would like to implement the GRIT program in your school.

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University life provides opportunities for social, personal, and academic growth; however, it does not insulate students against mental health problems. In fact, it may actually exacerbate the likelihood of young people facing mental health problems. Conservative estimates indicate that more than 200,000 Australian students may experience mental health problems in any given year.

In 2020, alongside UWA Sport and Thriving, PAHL helped to launch the Stride program – a structured, 12-week, mentor-led exercise program for students with mental health problems. Stride is provided as a complement to existing psychological therapy and counselling options, with a focus on enjoyable exercise options and long-term activity promotion. Stride is the first program of its kind in Australia and promises to provide a blueprint for campuses across the country. Please see here for more information on Stride.

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Previous Programs

Over 70 per cent of Australian men are overweight or obese, accounting for substantial health, economic, and social costs. What’s more, it’s common that men bury their head in the sand – it’s hard to ‘activate’ them to make a positive health change. PAHL launched MAN v FAT Soccer Australia as a fun program that wrapped weight loss help, support, and advice around a weekly soccer match.

With support from Healthway, Sport Australia, and UWA Sport, PAHL opened the first Australian MAN v FAT Soccer league at UWA in 2018. At the end of the first 15-week season, the 80 men lost an incredible 515kg. Despite the launch of more leagues within WA and interstate in 2019, the program was terminated in Australia at the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns.

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