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Bendigo Community Health Service
Who we help

Women's Health Week


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Bendigo health promotion: Helping schools, business and community groups achieve healthier lifestyles

“Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health.”

World Health Organisation


Our Health Promotion team is passionate about improving health and wellbeing in the community.

The team offers FREE community education sessions for schools, workplaces, community groups and sporting clubs.

We cover specific issues such as puberty, contraception, physical activity, mental health and wellbeing or cyber safety.

If you are worried about an issue not listed above, please contact the Health Promotion team to talk about how we can help.

We can attend your event as a guest speaker or host an information stand about a single topic or BCHS services.

These are just some of the events we have supported:

  • RU OK Day.
  • Mental Health Week.
  • Men’s Health Week.
  • Women’s Health Week.
  • La Trobe University O Week.
  • Weeroona College Mood Day.
  • Marist College careers night.
  • Bendigo RSL Veterans Wellbeing Expo.
  • Suicide Prevention Awareness Network Central Victoria annual walk and SafeTALK workshops.

And we might just bring along some of our famous green stress frogs and other giveaways!

To find out how we can host a free evidence-based program or session for you or support your event, please contact a member of the Health Promotion team:

Siobhan Sullivan by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (03) 5406 1253.

Keep reading below to get an insight into how we can help you improve health and wellbeing.


Laughing children web

Friends Resilience Program

The Friends Resilience Program is an Australian-developed initiative endorsed by the World Health Organisation.

It’s best practice for prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression promoting resilience in families, schools and communities.

The program has been found to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms for up to three years.

The Friends Program is delivered across four age levels:

  • Fun Friends 4-7 years.
  • Friends for Life 8-11 years.
  • My Friends Youth 12-15 years.
  • Adult Resilience 16 and above.

The Friends program allows students to thrive by increasing:

  • Resilience.
  • Self efficacy.
  • Self esteem.
  • Social and emotional skills.
  • Peer relationships.
  • Positive attitudes towards learning and the school environment.

Sessions are built on the following acronym:
Feelings (empathy training and self regulation)
Remember to relax (relaxation and mindfulness strategies)
I can try my best (changing unhelpful to helpful thinking)
Explore Coping Step Plans and strategies for finding helpful solutions (choosing thumbs up instead of thumbs down actions)
Now reward yourself for trying your best (choosing interpersonal rather than material rewards)
Don’t forget to practice (choose to use the FRIENDS skills and give back to the community)
Stay calm (values-based role models and support networks).

Fun Friends Progam: 4-7 years

Providing the skills needed to build resilience, gain confidence and thrive to easily find their way into school life. 

The program uses play-focused activities to teach children about resilience and how this can be used in everyday life.

To download an information flyer for this program pdf click here (604 KB)

Friends For Life: 8-11 years

Providing children with the skills needed to meet life’s challenges and make the most of setbacks and adversity. 

Friends For Life has a focus on working with children to improve emotional skills, ability to focus, confidence and the ability to relax and regulate emotions.

To download an information flyer for this program  pdf click here (753 KB)

My Friends Youth: 12-15 years

Adolesence brings new challenges such as peer pressure, friendship difficulties, physical development and higher study loads.

My Friends Youth is a group-based program that provides young people with the tools needed to overcome challenges experienced by 12 to 15-year-olds.

Early teens are empowered to deal with stressful situations by normalising the state of anxiety, teaching self regulation and providing positive and creative strategies to problem solve challenges and setbacks in life.

Important skills for the transition to senior high school.

To download an information flyer for this program   pdf click here (587 KB)

Adult Resilience: 16 years above

Ideal for Year 11 or 12 students who may be dealing with an increase in pressure from school, choosing a career, exams, relationships and body image.

Adult Resilience is proven to help young people become the best version of themselves by giving them the coping skills needed to reduce anxiety, overcome challenges and thrive.

Adult Resilience focuses on relaxation, mindfulness, preventing bullying, resisting peer pressure, choosing good role models and developing friendships or relationships that are not internet based.

To download an information flyer for this program pdf click here (348 KB)


HP BSE Phase 1 recognition photo web

The Achievement Program

The Achievement Program is a State Government initiative encouraging healthier lifestyles and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases.

The FREE program is based on the best practice Health Promoting Schools Framework with a focus on:

  • Early Childhood Education and Care Services
  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Business and workplaces.

We will help you plan, action and review changes to address seven health priority areas:

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Healthy Eating & Oral Health
  • Physical Activity & Movement
  • Safe Environments
  • Sun Protection
  • Sexual Health & Wellbeing (schools only)
  • Tobacco, Alcohol & Other Drug

Achievement Program benefits:

  • Work at your own pace.
  • Be recognised by the Victorian Government as a health promoting early childhood centre, school or workplace.
  • Receive signage and digital icons
  • Have the support of a health promotion worker.
  • Align with key policies and guidelines like FISO and the Victorian Curriculum.
  • Help children, students and/or staff reach their full potential.
  • Show your community you are leaders in supporting health and wellbeing at early childhood centre, school or workplace.

And we practice what we preach!

It’s so important that we lead by example where health promotion and choosing a healthier lifestyle are involved, so we’re pretty chuffed to announce Bendigo Community Health Services has received official Achievement Program recognition as an organisation that promotes a smoke free workplace to protect our staff and consumers from the harms of tobacco smoke.

We made smoking one of our health priority areas in signing up for the Achievement Program so that’s a great result.

To download an Achievement Program information sheet for schools   pdf click here (623 KB)

To download an Achievement Program information sheet for business and community organisations pdf click here (669 KB)


Core of Life ESL Students web

Core of Life Program

Core of Life will educate and empower young people with information on birth, breastfeeding and early parenting.

A midwife and health promotion worker use slides, video, discussion and role play to outline the journey to becoming a parent.

Core of Life highlights the physical, emotional and social consequence of pregnancy and parenthood, focuses on aspects of healthy (and unhealthy) pregnancy and provides information on local health and community services.

Key objectives for Core of Life:

  • Foster personal responsibility.
  • Enable informed choices and decision making.
  • Reduce teenage pregnancy.

Core of Life program feedback:

“I think this program should be run out across all schools, including mainstream.” Education support

“Run very effectively with a mix of fun and seriousness. Very enjoyable sessions.” Education support

“I loved watching and doing the role plays.” Student

“I loved how they showed actual childbirth and explain things that don’t get spoken of.” Student

To download an information brochure on the Core of Life Program   pdf click here (949 KB)


Child teeth

Smiles 4 Miles Program 

The Smiles 4 Miles Program improves the oral health of children and their families.

The Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) initiative targets areas of high risk across Victoria.

Tooth decay is Australia’s most common health problem with one in three children aged five and under who attended Victorian public dental clinics in 2010-2011 needing treatment.

Smiles 4 Miles assists early childhood services to encourage and promote good oral health habits and healthy eating among children in their care.

The program is based on the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting Schools Framework and uses a best practice approach to help services meet the National Quality Standards requirements.

Smiles 4 Miles promotes three key oral health messages:

  • Drink well
  • Eat well
  • Clean well.

What does Smiles 4 Miles offer early childhood services?

  • Local support to help you implement the program.
  • Free professional training for early childhood professionals.
  • Practical resources to implement the program.
  • Receive a Smiles4 Miles award.
  • Advanced standing for the health priority area, healthy eating and oral health of the Achievement Program.


Love Bites logo


The LoVE BiTES prevention program is for students in Year 9 and 10 aged between 15 and 17 years.

LoVE BiTES can be delivered in an out-of-school setting such as alternative school programs, school support unites, juvenile justice programs and youth holiday programs.

It is strength-based early prevention program with three core components:

  • Relationships violence
  • Sex & relationships
  • Creative & community campaign


  • To promote and model respectful relationships
  • To encourage young people to support their friends
  • To introduce young people to local service providers

Love Bites is based on best practice standards for education programs as recommended by the Federal Government funded Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearing House and other leading academics in the area of violence against women.

Over 100,000 high school students throughout Australia have participated in this interactive and innovative program.


  • Full-day workshop
  • Multi-session education

Young people said:

“We knew about some of these issues, but nobody really talks about it. By talking about domestic violence and sexual assault we really did learn something new”


Is a respectful relationships program designed for young people aged 11 to 14 years.

Love Bites Junior is made up of lessons plans that cover themes such as:

Year 7 - #friends

  • Communicating mindfully
  • Warning signs of abusive behaviour
  • Power in relationships
  • Responding to concerns as bystanders
  • Seeking help
  • Rights and responsibilities in relation to sharing sexualised images

Year 8 - Respectful Relationships, Bullying and Gender

  • Respect in relationships
  • Gender roles and stereotypes
  • Gender and relationships
  • Jealousy
  • Sexual harassment and homophobia
  • Challenging harassment, discrimination and gender stereotypes
  • Seeking help

Year 9 - Relationships, Love and Control

  • Gender expectations and relationships
  • Responding to jealous feelings
  • Love and control
  • Warning signs of a controlling/abusive relationship
  • Supporting friends
  • Seeking help
  • Breaking up with respect

Length of program:

Multi-sessions program 5-8 weeks


Last updated: February 2021

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Our Locations

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Bendigo Central

165-171 Hargreaves Street

Now open for our women's, men's and sexual health clinics on a strictly 'appointment only' basis. Call 5406 1200 if you have a question.

To learn more click here


Hours and services

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Site Kangaroo Flat August 2021

Kangaroo Flat

19 Helm St, Kangaroo Flat

Phone: 03 5406 1200
Fax: 03 5441 4200

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Eaglehawk site


3 Seymoure St, Eaglehawk

Phone: 03 5406 1200
Fax: 03 5441 4200

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elmore smal


46 Jeffrey St, Elmore

Phone: 03 5432 6001
Fax: 03 5432 610

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