Some health centres have health education centres (ZVC), while others have health promotion centres (CKZ). These are independent organisational units that employ teams of specialists active in the field of health promotion and disease prevention. At the outset, health education centres were established at all health centres in Slovenia. As their importance and that of prevention in achieving better health and well-being outcomes for the population increased, these health education centres developed into health promotion centres. Over time, all health education centres will become health promotion centres. The key difference between them lies in the fact that health promotion centres employ specialists from several different fields and offer a larger number of workshops and consultations. You can take part in health promotion activities in a number of ways:
- Call the health education or health promotion centre for information on the workshops and consultations you can take part in. You can also arrange an introductory consultation with a specialist, where you will learn more about the health promotion activities available to you, and how to change your lifestyle for the better.
- If you undergo a preventive examination at your general practice and the results show that you have several risk factors that mean you are likelier to develop a chronic disease, or if you are already suffering from a chronic disease, a registered nurse or your doctor will, if you so wish, point you towards the health promotion activities that best suit you.
- A community nurse may point you towards health promotion activities if they believe, following a visit to your home, that such activities would help you to maintain, strengthen or improve your health.
- Your psychiatrist, diabetologist, psychologist or other healthcare specialist may also point you in the right direction.
Most health promotion activities are organised at both types of centre. Under thedescription of activities, you can check which workshops and consultations are available to you at the nearest health promotion or health education centre.
Which specialists work at health promotion and health education centres? You will be offered help and support in your quest for better health and well-being by qualified specialists from a variety of fields. Registered nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists all work as part of health education centre teams. The teams at health promotion centres are made up of registered nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians and kinesiologists.
Registered nurses carry out a number of activities at the centres:
- admit you to your introductory one-to-one consultations, where, on your first visit, they will advise you on participation in workshops and consultations, and help you devise a realistic plan for establishing a healthy lifestyle or strengthening your mental health
- help run several types of workshop: I Live Healthily/Healthy Lifestyle, Relaxation Techniques, Elevated Blood Pressure, Elevated Blood Lipids, Elevated Blood Sugar, Type 2 Diabetes, Eating Healthily, Living with Diabetes, Support to Tackle Depression, Support to Tackle Anxiety, Tackling Stress, Group Guidance on Giving Up Smoking, and One-to-One Guidance on Giving Up Smoking;
- operate as part of the teams organising the Losing Weight in a Healthy Way and How Fit Am I? workshops;
- offer one-to-one consultations
Physiotherapists provide you with information, help and support to introduce changes to your everyday exercise regime. They screen for areas of functional weakness, lead workshops on physical activity to boost health, such as How Fit Am I? and Let’s Get Moving, conduct physical fitness tests for adults/older people, and are part of the teams of specialists providing the Losing Weight in a Healthy Way workshops. You can also have a one-to-one consultation with a physiotherapist. At health promotion centres, they also operate within pregnancy and childbirth preparation teams, and lead exercises for expectant mothers.
During the consultations, psychologists present details of mental health workshops, and direct you to them in accordance with your interests and the nature of your problems. They lead the Support to Tackle Depression, Support to Tackle Anxiety and Tackling Stress psychological education workshops, as well as the short Relaxation Techniques workshop, and form part of the team of specialists involved in the Losing Weight in a Healthy Way workshops, where they provide psychological support. One-to-one consultations are available to those taking part in the psychological education workshops to help them revise/deepen the knowledge they have acquired at the workshops, present additional specialist assistance and point the way forward.
Dieticians will provide you with knowledge and skills in relation to healthy eating. They lead the Eating Healthily workshops and are part of the specialist team involved in providing the Losing Weight in a Healthy Way workshops. At health promotion centres, they provide one-to-one dietary consultations and group meetings. Their work follows the principles of preventive and clinical nutrition, and modern dietary guidelines.
Kinesiologists provide support in developing healthy ways of moving and exercising. With their help, you will learn how to choose a physical activity that has a positive effect on your health. They will encourage and motivate you to make movement and exercise an integral part of your everyday life. Kinesiologists screen for areas of functional weakness and take part in the How Fit Am I? and Let’s Get Moving workshops, as well as physical fitness tests for adults/older people. They also carry out the Safe Exercise in Pregnancy programme, and are part of the team involved in the Preparing for Childbirth and Parenthood programme. They organise health promotion programmes for a variety of organisations in your local community. You can also have a one-to-one consultation with a kinesiologist.