What is HEAL™?
The Healthy Eating Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL™) program is a lifestyle modification program that enables participants to develop lifelong healthy eating and physical activity behaviours. HEAL™ consists of 8 weekly group education and group exercise sessions as well as individual consultations pre- and post-program, plus 5 and 12-month follow-up health consultations. Each week participants undertake 1-hour of supervised group-based low to moderate intensity physical activity followed by a 1-hour group-based healthy lifestyle education class.

HEAL™ is specifically designed to assist people who are obese, are at high risk of chronic disease or who have one or more chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. People who are ready to change their behaviour will also benefit from participating in HEAL™.

Such persons should be ready to start planning simple steps and take appropriate action to improve their lifestyle.
The HEAL™ program was developed by Sydney South West GP Link who conducted programs in the South Western Sydney area for 10 years. HEAL™ is now administered by South Western Sydney PHN. ESSA is a HEAL™ regional licence holder.

Who can participate in HEAL™?

The program assists people who are overweight, or obese, with existing chronic disease or at risk of developing chronic disease to improve their health and well-being. Persons at risk of developing, or with existing diabetes, heart diseases or other conditions are examples of some of the participants that can attend HEAL™. People who are ready to change their behaviour will also benefit most from participating in HEAL™. Such persons should be ready to start planning simple steps and take appropriate action to improve their lifestyle.

HEAL™ Program Benefits
The HEAL™ program takes a non-dieting approach towards weight management. The program aims to change attitudes and mindset regarding dietary fads, gimmicks, and weight loss misconceptions. Participants of HEAL™ are encouraged to look beyond weight as the sole measure of success. HEAL™ takes into consideration that weight loss, or fat loss is a slow process that is best achieved by maintaining long term lifestyle changes to eating habits and physical activity levels. The program focuses on combining nutrition, physical activity, and psychology by addressing:
  • Behaviour modification and goal setting
  • Benefits of being physically active and the associated opportunities
  • Nutrition education
  • Label reading, recipe modification and low-fat cooking techniques
  • Eating in a social environment- takeaway meals and eating out
  • Skills for maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Psychosocial issues of eating

Participant Feedback
“I would recommend this program to everyone. It is extremely well organised and supervised. It has provided me with the motivation I need to get fit as well as very helpful dietary information.” – Elaine
“I learnt a lot about being healthy and eating well. I feel more confident that I can keep making positive changes in my life.” – Steve
"Great course, great people. It’s really helped me turn things around.” – Dianne


To find your closest HEAL™ facilitator, click here 


Interested in becoming a HEAL™ facilitator?

Only individuals who have completed a HEAL™ facilitator training course and hold or are covered by a current HEAL™ licence may deliver the program. To be eligible for HEAL™ Facilitator training, individuals must be a tertiary-trained health professionals, including, but not limited to: Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Accredited Exercise Scientist, Nutritionist, Physiotherapist, Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse, Aboriginal Health Worker, Health Promotion Officer, or Occupational Therapist.

Click here to become a HEAL™ facilitator 



Additional HEAL™ Resources

If you have questions about any aspect of the HEAL™ program please contact the National Coordinator, Giorgia Brennan