Teachers Health supporting Asthma Australia

Teachers Health has partnered with and committed to supporting Asthma Australia, recognising the importance of the work Asthma Australia does to train teachers, provide resources to schools and support people with asthma throughout the community.

Teachers Health Fund CEO Brad Joyce said; “As a not-for-profit organisation the health of our members is our main priority and we choose carefully which causes we support. This partnership helps us to look after our members who benefit from training under the ‘Asthma Friendly Schools Program’ and can also access the excellent support service offered by Asthma Australia, if they are affected by asthma.”

Asthma affects 1 in 9 Australians and causes around 39,000 hospitalisations every year.

The funding supports Asthma Australia’s activities to ensure the school is a safe environment for children with asthma, including the recent Ask About Asthma campaign raising awareness of ‘back to school asthma’ and encouraging communication between teachers and parents.

The term ‘back to school asthma’ refers to a spike in the number of asthma hospital visits every year when children return to school after the summer break, making it important for schools and parents to follow best practice steps.

Asthma Australia CEO, Michele Goldman said; “Back to school asthma is a global phenomenon and is another reason that asthma awareness in schools is so important. We are very grateful to Teachers Health Fund for enabling us to tackle this key period where visits to emergency departments are highest for children. The campaign has been a great success.

The partnership overall is an excellent fit which furthers the goals of both organisations. Schools are a hub of the community, and where children spend a large amount of their waking hours, so investing in educating teachers and parents on how to create safe environments for students is critical work.”

The partnership will also facilitate the referral of Teachers Health Fund members who are struggling with managing their own asthma to Asthma Australia’s COACH program that provides telephone advice over a series of calls.

This program has been highly successful in supporting people to improve their asthma control. Recent evaluation demonstrated that 70 percent of those receiving ongoing telephone support showed significant improvement in their level of asthma control. Asthma control is measured using the Asthma Control Test, which provides a score based on the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms and use of reliever medication.

“Asthma can affect anyone and is widespread in the community, that is why the work of Asthma Australia is vital and why Teachers Health Fund have committed to supporting that work,” said Mr Joyce.