Everybody needs good neighbours

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KINGSTON is the place to live if you are seeking life satisfaction, good health and neighbours you can trust, according to data just released by the state’s health watchdog, VicHealth.

Kingston scored slightly above average in many of the areas in the 2015 VicHealth survey, including general well-being, personal safety and “resilience”.

Data for the indicators survey was collected through telephone interviews of people 18 and over, to help councils and organisations provide evidence-based health planning and programs.

In Kingston, 79.3 per cent of residents felt their neighbours would help each other out, an increase on the state average of 74.1 per cent.

Seven out of 10 people felt they lived in a “close-knit” community, significantly more than the state average of 61 per cent.

They also reported lower levels of harmful alcohol consumption, with 27.2 per cent reporting “at-risk” levels of excessive drinking, compared to the state average of almost 30 per cent.

In contrast, just down the road in Frankston, residents reported feeling more unsafe and less satisfied with their lot than many Victorians but reported slightly higher levels of resilience, which suggests a “tough” approach to their situations.

Kingston’s results are more in line with those of people living on the relatively wealthy Mornington Peninsula, who self-reported very high community feelings of safety and scored 7.8 out of 10 for life satisfaction, the same as the Victorian average.

Public health consultant and Kingston resident Rebecca Zosel said Kingston’s favourable rating would provide important data for future planning.

“It provides Kingston Council with useful evidence to inform their municipal public health and wellbeing plan and to make ongoing improvements throughout the community,” she said.

“We know that the places where we live, work and play have a big influence on our health and wellbeing,” she said.

See vichealth.vic.gov.au for the full 2015 VicHealth survey.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 30 November 2016

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