Our vision and services
We provide Healthy Living programs, policies and initiatives to help people in our community live healthy and active lives.
Our aim is to create supportive and sustainable environments that support healthy choices, and respond to the needs of our local population in these priority areas:
- healthy weight
- healthy eating
- increasing physical activity
- smoking prevention and cessation (tobacco and vaping)
- falls prevention for older people
- blood-borne virus prevention
- sexual health promotion
We work across the LHD (Penrith, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Lithgow local government areas), to support priority population groups and communities that may experience challenges accessing health services, including Aboriginal and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.
In partnership with local community services, non-government organisations, local councils and other government departments, we promote healthy living and work to address the social determinants (non-medical factors) that influence the health of people in our region. Our Year in Review report provides a snapshot of our local community.
We deliver programs for priority population groups following the NSW Health Future Health Report and the Australian preventative health and NSW Health awareness and prevention strategies.
Healthy living research
We are proud partners with Western Sydney University on the Preventing Pasifika Diabetes Programme (PPDP) Research project, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. We are working in partnership to tackle diabetes in the Pasifika community through local preventative activities and health messaging for families.
With researchers at the National Centre of Implementation Science (NCOIS), we are working on the SWAP IT Lunchbox Program. SWAP IT supports parents and carers to ‘swap’ sometimes foods for everyday foods in children’s school lunchboxes.
Healthy initiatives for children
Our work is also guided by the NSW Health First 2000 Days Framework and Implementation Strategy. The first 2000 days of life, from conception to 5 years is a critical time for physical, cognitive, social and emotional health. What happens in the first 2000 days has been shown to have an impact throughout life. The framework and strategy guide our service delivery so we can work to our common goal of better outcomes for all children.
Munch & Move is a NSW Health initiative that supports the healthy development of children from birth to 5 years by supporting educators.
Live Life Well @ School is a collaborative initiative with NSW Health, the Department of Education, the Association Independent Schools and Catholic Schools to promote healthy eating and active living.
Go4Fun is a free program for children 7 to 13 years who are above a healthy weight and their families. Run by trained health and community professionals, the program is a fun way to build self-esteem and learn about eating well, staying active and living healthy.
Learn more about the Go4Fun and dental health programs we provide to children and their families in the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD.
If you would like to work with us in the community, or would like to find out more, please call (02) 4734 3877 or email NBMLHDHealthyChildrensNetwork@health.nsw.gov.au.
Healthy initiatives for adults
Get Healthy NSW is a free telephone-based health information and coaching service provided by NSW Health, that offers the support and motivation you need to reach your healthy lifestyle goals.
Trained health coaches provide regular contact, advice and support. Register now for your free personal coach for up to 13 weeks over 6 months, and receive a free booklet and coaching journal.
Get Healthy programs support adults (16 years and older); the programs include:
- standard coaching
- Get Healthy in Pregnancy
- type 2 diabetes prevention program
- Aboriginal program
- alcohol reduction program
- Chinese coaching
- brief intervention
- cancer support program
The service includes free interpreters for people who do not speak English, are Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing or speech impaired. Additional calls are available for Aboriginal participants and people at risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“The calls tend to keep me on track. Sometimes it is so easy to 'defer' exercise or good eating habits but the call helps you refocus on what you know is needed to achieve a healthy outcome” – Robert, 66 years
Between 2019 and 2020, 937 residents from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD were referred to the Get Healthy service and 606 women were referred to Get Healthy in Pregnancy. Participants reported that the program helped them increase their physical activity and improved their nutrition. Those who completed the 6-month coaching program on average lost 2.5 kg in weight and 2.7 cm off their waist circumference.
Get Healthy at Work is a NSW Health program that supports workplaces to improve the health and wellbeing of working adults. It enables workplaces to assess staff health and wellbeing needs and helps to plan and implement a Workplace Health Program that is suitable for each workplace.
The Healthy Food and Drink in NSW Health Facilities for Staff and Visitors Framework has been implemented in all retail outlets and vending machines across Health facilities. This means that visitors and staff have more healthy options to choose from.
Smoking prevention and cessation
Smoking (tobacco and vaping) is a leading cause of death and illness in NSW resulting in 6,285 deaths in 2020 and 60,192 hospitalisations in 2019 to 20.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
The Health Promotion and Public Health units work together on tobacco control to improve the health of our local communities. We educate the community and health professionals about quitting smoking and support policies or practices that promote a smoke free lifestyle and environment. The Public Health Unit monitors and enforces compliance with tobacco legislation.
Find out more about the benefits of quitting smoking and information for Aboriginal communities on smoking and the health risks.
- Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. It claims the lives of around 24,000 Australians every year
- Smoking can cause heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other serious long-term illnesses as well as cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, gums, kidney and bladder
- The estimated rate of smoking for Nepean Blue Mountains LHD in 2021 was 15% compared with all of NSW at 12% (HealthStats NSW)
- The rate of hospitalisations related to smoking in Nepean Blue Mountains LHD 531.6 per 100,000 population compared with whole of NSW, 617.4 per 100,000 population in 2019 to 2020 (HealthStats NSW)
Vaping also known as e-cigarettes, heat a liquid into a vapour that users inhale. Vapes contain chemicals and toxins, including those known to cause cancer.
Vapes contain 100s of chemicals like those found in disinfectant, bug spray, weed killer, and other household products. Most vapes also contain nicotine and heavy metals, like nickel, tin, and lead. They can also include:
- acetone, generally found in nail polish remover
- acrolein, commonly found in weedkiller
- formaldehyde, used in industrial glues and for preserving corpses in hospitals and funeral homes
For more information visit The facts about vaping.
- talk to your GP (general practitioner), health care provider, or pharmacist
- call the Quitline and Aboriginal Quitline NSW on 137848 (13 QUIT), ask Quitline to call you or go to NSW icanquit.com.au or quit.org.au
- join Koori Quitline (Aboriginal Quitline NSW) on Facebook
- download the national My Quit Buddy mobile phone app
Healthy ageing and falls prevention
Falls are the leading cause of accidental injury in older people and the leading cause of injury-related deaths in Australia. Each year, in NSW, around 27,000 falls are severe enough to need hospitalisation.
In Australia, 30% of adults aged 65 and over will experience at least one fall a year.
Normal ageing processes increase the risk of falls, including:
- poor vision
- reduced muscle mass
- changes in bone strength
Yet most falls can be prevented and a person’s risk of injury can be reduced. Exercise has been shown to reduce the number of falls over time by around 23%.
We coordinate delivery of fall prevention programs such as Stepping On and Healthy Active Living Online in the Penrith, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Lithgow Local Government Areas.
The Stepping On program is a free, community‐based falls prevention program for people aged 65 years and older. The program helps older people build knowledge, strength and confidence with information on how to reduce the risk of falling and maximise independence at home.
The program is evidence-based and for anyone who is:
- 65 years and older, or 45 years and older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- able to walk independently or with a walking stick
- fearful of falling or has recently fallen
The program runs for 7 weeks, 2 hours a week and participants attend a booster session two months after the program ends. Topics covered include:
- home hazard awareness
- moving safely in the community
- safe footwear
- nutrition and bone health
- medication management
- leg strength and balance exercises
- getting up after a fall
For further information on the Stepping On program visit activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au/home/stepping-on or call Stepping On - Hawkesbury on (02) 4734 3877.
Healthy and Active for Life Online is a free NSW Health program for adults in NSW who are aged 60 and older. The program aims to build participants' fitness, knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead active and healthy lives.
The online program requires a computer or smart tablet and includes home exercise, online education modules and phone support.
For more information and to register visit Healthy and Active for Life Online.
- 1 in 3 people 65 years and over fall each year
- falls are the leading cause of hospital admissions for trauma and deaths of older people
- 35% of people who fall become less active afterwards
- falls can reduce mobility and independence
- remaining active can prevent falling
Sexual health promotion
HIV & Related Programs (HARP)
The Sexual Health Promotion team provides free sexual health information and resources to the community and professionals. We promote a positive approach to sex and sexuality for young people and the broader community.
We work in partnership with the local sexual health service, youth services, non-government organisations, and community groups across the Penrith, Blue Mountains, Lithgow, and Hawkesbury Local Government areas.
We contribute to Play Safe Programs to provide workers with resources including access to free condoms, and free sexual health training - ‘Because You Care’ and ‘Sticky Stuff’- which are both available at YFoundations.
Information, tips, resources and all things sex and relationships for young people can be found on the Play Safe and Take Blaktion websites. For confidential answers to sexual health questions go to Nurse Nettie.
Learn about Sexual health services in Nepean Blue Mountains.
‘Talk soon. Talk often. A guide for parents talking to their kids about sex’ is a book that helps parents and carers feel confident to talk with their children early about sex.
Parents and carers are the primary source of sexuality information for their children. Research from the World Health Organisation and other sources shows that young people who talk with their families about sexuality, are more likely to delay their first sexual experience. They are also more likely to have safe, positive sexual relationships when they are ready.
‘Talk soon. Talk often’ was developed with La Trobe University for the Western Australia Department of Health in 2012. The NSW version of the book was completed by the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD Health Promotion team in January 2015.
A summary of Talk soon. Talk often and key messages in 8 community languages is available from the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service website, visit Talk soon. Talk often - Tip Sheet.
The WSRC is a network of services, community members, LGBTIQA+ people and allies. Their shared purpose is to learn, collaborate, connect, and advocate.
WSRC aims to help service the LGBTIQA+ community by listening to their needs and incorporating these needs into the work of each member organisation.
WSRC meets monthly and welcomes new members.
- Nurse Nettie
- Take Blaktion
- Find Free Condoms
- Play Safe
- ACON (community organisation supporting LGBTIQ+ and people with HIV)
- Frank (information for young people on healthy sex and relationships)
- Planet Puberty
- International Student Health Hub
- Play Safe Pro (for professionals who are supporting young people in NSW)
- NSW Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2022-2026
- NSW HIV Strategy 2021-2025
- NSW LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy 2022-2027
Blood-Borne Virus (BBV) prevention
The BBV prevention programs are essential for maintaining healthy populations. This group of viruses include HIV, hepatitis B and C.
People can be immunised against hepatitis B but there are no vaccinations to prevent HIV and hepatitis C transmission, so prevention is a key strategy. These viruses can be transmitted in blood and body fluids from one person to another, when the body fluids contain the virus. Examples include unprotected sex, unsterile medical procedures, home tattooing, body piercing, sharing unsterile drug injecting equipment such as needles and syringes.
The BBV prevention programs are cost effective and help keep the community safe.
HIV and related programs provide the community with harm minimisation services to reduce the impact of BBV (hepatitis C, HIV and hepatitis B), with a focus on priority population groups.
The NSW Strategic Plans for sexually transmissible infections (STI), hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS and the NSW Aboriginal Health Plan guide how we deliver these programs to our priority groups, including:
- people with hepatitis C
- young people
- people who inject drugs
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- people recently released from prison
Positively Hep is a multidisciplinary hepatitis C project being led by the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP), in partnership with Sexual Health and the Liver Clinic.
The NSP is an accessible and friendly one stop for hepatitis C education and treatment. The project works with people living with hepatitis C and peer drug‐user networks to share messages about new treatments available at the NSP and reduce the risk of reinfection.
The Deadly Liver Mob (DLM) is run by an Aboriginal Peer Worker working with Aboriginal people in the community who inject drugs, their family, kinship and injecting networks. The project helps increase hepatitis C screening, referral and treatment initiation, while reducing shame and stigma.
DLM is a multidisciplinary hepatitis C education and screening project led by the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) in partnership with Sexual Health.
Learn more about Aboriginal health services available in the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD.
The NSP is an important public health program that works with people who inject drugs to prevent the transmission of BBV. It does this by reducing the social and economic impacts of BBVs.
Drug‐use will always be a factor in society. While the main priorities of the NSP are the prevention, testing and treatment of BBVs, referrals to drug treatment and other health and welfare services are also key aspects of the program.
The NSP delivers services across the LHD and at its primary location at Nepean hospital. It is a small multidisciplinary team of highly experienced health professionals that includes: registered nurses, a social worker and health education officers, an administration assistant and Aboriginal peer workers.
The NSP provide:
- a range of needles, syringes and ancillary injecting equipment
- condoms and lubricant
- community sharps disposal services
- education, health promotion and brief interventions
- facilitation of referral to health, welfare and community services as required
- staff training and educational resources
- support for local pharmacies to participate in the NSW Pharmacy Fitpack Scheme
- collection and reporting of data to support service delivery
- clinical services, such as wound care, hepatitis B vaccinations, STI screening, HIV screening and hepatitis C screening and treatment
- work in partnership with other services to deliver outreach programs such as sexual health clinics, hepatitis education screening and treatment, and programs for Aboriginal communities
Find a NSW NSP outlet near you.
The BBV & STI Research, Intervention and Strategic Evaluation Program (BRISE) at UNSW undertakes policy relevant research to support NSW Health to reduce BBV and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in NSW. It also provides evidence to improve the health outcomes of people living with these infections.
The BRISE research consortium is a joint venture between the Centre for Social Research in Health and the Kirby Institute and NSW Health. The BBV prevention programs are involved in the following research:
- The NSW enhanced data collection survey provides an annual snapshot of the socio demographic characteristics including last drug injected, hepatitis C treatment access, mental health, incarceration and homelessness of people accessing NSP services across NSW
- The Australian NSP survey is an annual HIV and hepatitis C surveillance study of people accessing NSPs
- Dry Blood Spot (DBS) finger stick testing is a free, easy and private way to test for HIV and hepatitis C. Just take a few drops of blood from your finger, mail the test back and get your results by phone, text or email. You don't need to go to a clinic or see a doctor to do this test
- Hepatitis C Virus RNA Point of Care Testing is a research project being rolled out across NSW to increase the opportunity for hepatitis C positive people to access treatment
- Deadly Liver Mob is a National Health and Medical Research Council funded HCV project, in conjunction with NSW Health and 7 Local Health Districts including Nepean Blue Mountains LHD. The project was run by and for Aboriginal people who are at risk of hepatitis C
All our hospitals and locations are smoke-free. Smoking anywhere on the grounds may result in a $300 fine. View our policy.