A new service dedicated to supporting local children and young people of a higher weight to make positive and lasting changes with their health and wellbeing is now available to families throughout the region.
Developed by local professionals including a Dietitian and Health Psychologist, and underpinned by Scottish Government Guidelines, the service offers a family-based programme that provides a safe space to explore aspects of health and wellbeing including nutrition, movement and sleep. Learning from previous programmes, and taking account of experiences locally, the focus is on getting to know a family’s life and priorities before helping to create plans tailored for them.
Each tailored plan is based around children, young people, and their families building on and finding new skills and strengths that enable them to make small changes, contributing to gradual and long term improvements.
Alexandra Dickson, Paediatric Dietitian, NHS D&G, said:
“I’m thoroughly enjoying working with children, young people and their families to make positive changes that improve their health and wellbeing. Every family is unique, and it’s so important that everyone involved feels empowered and supported. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with everyone I’m meeting, and to have fun with them as they create their plan and use it in their daily lives.”
Ellen Jardine, Health Psychologist, NHS D&G, said:
“Unhealthy options often take centre stage in today’s environment and it can be really hard to make healthy choices for our health and wellbeing – especially for young people. The Healthy Child Service is here to support healthy weight management and tackle challenges together, whatever the circumstances.
“For teenagers we tailor the programme a little differently and they may choose to do some sessions without other family members and focus on slightly different things.
“A unique and exciting part of the programme is the option of creating a personalised movement, strength and balance session. That can involve anything from exploring our senses to expressing creativity to adventuring through our natural environment.
“We encourage families to get in touch to find out more.”
Child aged 12 (anonymous), said:
“I feel better in myself. I know how to eat healthier and when I’ve eaten enough, and I have more energy. It’s going to help me when I’m older, knowing how to take care of myself. I am building up my confidence to be in front of people and I enjoyed being in a school show recently. I’m going shopping with my mum to get new clothes for summer time too.”
Child’s mum (anonymous), said:
“My daughter is so happy and she has so much energy. It’s very nice to see.”
For anyone who has any concerns about their child’s health and wellbeing (applicable for age 0-18) there are options to access further support:
You can discuss a referral with your health visitor, school nurse, or healthcare professional.
Or you can contact [email protected] for a self referral form.