Bendigo Community Health Service and the Centre for Non Violence have been announced as finalists in the 2021 Victorian Health Promotion awards.
More than 150 businesses and initiatives across the state were nominated for the awards - which aim to recognise significant achievements in community health and wellbeing.
Health Minister Martin Foley said this year the awards held extra significance.
"This year's awards recognise a wide range of initiatives, many of which have supported communities to reconnect and rebuild following the impacts of the global pandemic and the 2020 bushfires," he said.
Bendigo Community Health Service's Five Ways to Wellbeing Program was one of six initiatives recognised for Outstanding Health Promotion.
Four years ago, upon drafting their Strategic Plan, the Health Service decided to target mental wellbeing in the community.
Five Ways to Wellbeing works with key community leaders in Bendigo to deliver mental health promotion and illness prevention in a range of locations including schools, early learning centres, community organisations and workplaces.
The service says the evidence-based program from the UK has had significant impacts in the Bendigo community, especially over the last 12 months.
"Over the past two years we've really gained momentum, all of a sudden, lot's more organisations have built the five ways program into their workplace strategies," senior health promotion and community engagement officer Siobhan Sullivan said.
"We've built a five ways network across the community," she said.
"We come together and share knowledge, work together in partner projects and create strong social media campaigns."
The program has five elements which it believes are key to health and wellbeing: connect, be active, keep learning, be aware and help others.
"It's been really far reaching," Ms Sullivan said.
"City of Greater Bendigo have even taken it onboard and it's now part of their staff wellbeing guidelines."
In regards to the Health Promotion awards, the centre is thrilled to be recognised among other outstanding finalists.
It feels really good to know the work we're doing is making such a positive impact.- Health promotion officer Kahla Else
"We run a lot of programs and this is just one of them, but it's something that we really believe in," health promotion officer Georgia Linehan said.
"We've had some really great individual feedback from people who have said it's changed their day to day lives."
The Centre for Non Violence was nominated in the Excellence in Health Promotion Marketing category for their You Are Not Alone Campaign - aiming to support women experiencing domestic violence during the pandemic.
"All our staff across every part of our organisation had deep concern for the women and children we work with, as we entered lockdowns," chief executive Margaret Augerinos said.
"Sending the message far and wide that they were not alone, was so important.
"As a result, we saw an increase in the number of women making contact with our service - and a very high number of other professionals calling us to find out how they could best support their clients in lockdown."
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Melbourne on February 22, 2022.
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