Prevention and health promotion

Good health and wellbeing are important for everyone, but we know that not everyone has the same opportunity to live a healthy life.

Even though we’re living longer, we live with a greater burden of chronic disease than ever before – conditions such as cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We know that people who experience socioeconomic disadvantage, stigma and discrimination shoulder the greatest burden of poor health.

cohealth strives to create healthier, more equitable communities. We do this through a range of prevention and health promotion initiatives.

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and improve, their health. This is about more than just about helping people understand and lead healthier lives. It also about taking action to address things in our communities and in our own services that influence our wellbeing.

Our approach to health promotion

cohealth receives funding from the Department of Health to deliver health promotion services with our local communities. This funding enables us to do important work that contributes to the delivery of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2019-23.

The Victorian priorities we focus on at cohealth are:

  • Increasing healthy eating
  • Increasing active living, and
  • Reducing tobacco-related harm

We’re currently developing a new four-year health promotion plan, from 2021-25, which will set out how we will deliver this work in partnership with local communities and organisations. This will be added to this site when complete in November 2021.

To generate sustainable change, we work alongside community members. Together we design, develop and deliver programs that support communities. We help to mobilise initiatives that are prioritised by the community.

Our approaches include training and capacity-building programs for community members, creating healthier environments (e.g. schools, workplaces and leisure venues), and engagement in the arts.

Who we focus on

The focus of our prevention and health promotion work is on improving the health and wellbeing of communities most relevant to our priority areas of healthy eating, active living and tobacco.

We take a ‘life course’ approach in our work, which means we work to minimise risk factors and enhance protective factors for good health at important life stages, from the perinatal period through early childhood to adolescence, working age, and into later life. This values the health and wellbeing of both current and future generations.

We engage people through places where they live, work, socialise and engage – which might be schools, community groups, cultural and leisure venues, public housing, health services, or workplaces. We also prioritise those in our community who may need additional support to achieve full health and wellbeing, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people with refugee and/or asylum-seeking experience, and those who experience significant disadvantage in their lives.

We work across Melbourne’s north and west, with a particular focus on Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Yarra and Moonee Valley.

Our partners

We know we can’t do everything on our own. Our partners range from local government, to educational institutions, health organisations, not for profits and community organisations.

cohealth is a partner in a number of regional preventative health partnerships including:



The Family and Reproductive Rights Education Program (FARREP) works to prevent female genital cutting (FGC) and support the health and wellbeing of women and girls impacted by FGC. The FARREP team at cohealth is made up of experienced and trained community development workers, who speak one or more of the languages of FGC-affected communities.

Find out more here.

About us

cohealth is a not-for-profit community health organisation. We provide essential health and support services in Melbourne’s CBD, and northern and western suburbs.

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