In 2013 it was announced that a family and relationship counselling service in Winchelsea would cease operation on 30 June 2013. Several Winchelsea community members were concerned about the closure of the counselling service and identified the need for a more proactive approach to the identification of broader health and wellbeing service needs in the Winchelsea Township.
Western Victoria Primary Health Network sourced alternative funding to ensure the Winchelsea Counselling service continued and with the Surf Coast Shire led the establishment of a Health and Wellbeing Steering Group. This Group had representation from a range of community stakeholders including, Winchelsea Primary School, Hesse Rural Health, Winchelsea Police, Bendigo Bank and Winchelsea Neighbourhood House. Together this group identified the need to develop a comprehensive health and wellbeing profile to inform future health service and program development. Input and expertise was sought from other Winchelsea service organisations and these formed our Project Reference Group.
This project sought to understand and identify local community member’s perceptions of existing health services and service needs. A community survey was conducted, receiving 160 responses, which identified the major barriers to health services and equity. Results from this initial project will guide phase two, which will identify key strategies and partners to progress equitable access to health services in the future.
The Winchelsea Health and Wellbeing Project identified community perceptions of health services and service needs in the Winchelsea region. Phase two of this project will priortise issues and identify key strategies and partners to progress equitable access to health services in the future.