Healthier Together podcasts

Health is hard when you try to go it alone. GMHBA’s Healthier Together podcast series provides you with researched, insightful and engaging insights into current health topics such as nutrition, food and mood, mental health and wellness and more from leading researchers and health experts.

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On this podcast, we will be chatting with Cindy Davenport, who is the Director of Safe Sleep Space. She is a registered midwife, IBCLC and a maternal and child health nurse. Cindy is passionate about the health and wellbeing of families and offers a sensible, response-based approach to help babies and children with sleep problems.

Infant Sleep and Settling

(0.48) Common sleep and setting challenges seen in infants

(1.31) A response-based approach to sleep and settling

(3.39) Top 5 evidence-based sleep and settling hints

(5.45) Tired signs

(8.33) Number of sleeps per age for infants

(10.33) The infant sleep cycle

(11.41) Cat napping and why it happens

(12.27) Sleep associations and how these affect sleep

(14.17) Sleep difficulties and how these are often progressions rather than regressions

(16.20) Shushing and patting and why this is effective

(19.13) White noise and how to use it

(21.04) Age-appropriate sleep and settling strategies

(22.00) Types of babies cries - how to understand and use these for settling

(24.00) Toddler resources for sleep

(25.43) GMHBA New Family Program – what it is and how to access it



Dr. Anna Stokes works at the GMHBA Dental Care practice in Geelong and has more than 20 years’ experience in all aspects of family, general, complex and cosmetic dentistry.

(0.34) What is tooth decay and what causes it? 

(0.37) Why do we need regular check-ups?

(0.56) What are you looking for in a check-up?

(1.44) What are some tips for brushing your teeth?

(2.29) Are electric toothbrushes better?

(3.12) Soft, medium or hard toothbrushes?

(3.34) How do I choose a toothpaste?

(4.02) Do I need to use mouthwash?

(4.22) How about flossing? Do I need to do it and when?

(4.46) How should I floss?

(6.21) Why does tooth sensitivity occur and how can you help it?

(7.24) How does sugar affect the teeth?

(9.06) What about the effects of dental health on other aspects of our health?

(9.50) Are we more prone to tooth decay as we get older?

(11.14) What do we do if we get a tooth knocked out?

(12.06) Why do gums bleed?

(12.40) Are there any dangers with tooth whitening?

(14.15) Where can I find more information on this topic? 


Maggie is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who is currently working across a range of nutrition fields including private practice (based in Geelong), aged care and sports nutrition (with Western Bulldogs AFL Women’s). Maggie is passionate about empowering individuals with evidence-based knowledge to improve their health and management of chronic diseases.

(0.55) The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

(3.28) Type 2 diabetes management

(4.00) Pre-diabetes – what is it

(5.28) Warning signs for type 2 diabetes

(6.16) Diet and diabetes management

(8.33) Meal skipping and diabetes

(8.55) Carbohydrates and how they affect diabetes

(10.30) Glycaemic index explanation

(12.13) Plant-based diet and how this can be effective

(14.00) How to switch your diet to a plant-based diet

(15.07) What should our dinner plate look like?

(16.46) Favourite recipes

(17.36) Tips for eating at restaurants

(19.25) Diabetes and snacks

(21.11) The benefits of oats

(21.53) Alcohol and diabetes

(22.46) Lifestyle strategies to prevent pre-diabetes

(24.30) Where to find more info


Tune into ‘How to Sleep Better: science backed sleep hacks’ with Professor Dorothy Bruck. Professor Bruck has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and is a founding Director and Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation. She specialises in and has particular interest in sleep/wake behaviour, mental health and chronic fatigue.

(0.35) Why sleep matters

(1.25) Sleep and its restorative role

(2.00) Number of hours of sleep we need

(2.50) Children and adolescent sleep requirements

(3.37) Weekends, sleep and teenagers

(5.01) Can we sleep too much?

(6.22) The secrets to afternoon napping

(7.56) Can we train ourselves to need less sleep?

(8.39) The problem with sleep deprivation

(9.16) Sleep and wake time consistency

(10.04) Circadian rhythm – what is it and what does it do?

(11.02) The hormone melatonin

(11.45) The sleep drive

(12.57) What does “normal” sleep looks like?

(14.07) Sleep cycles

(15.37) Gender and sleep differences

(17.05) Indications of quality sleep

(19.02) Sugar cravings and sleep deprivation

(19.22) Tools to help sleep

(21.53) Self soothing

(23.11) Unwinding before bed

(25.28) Alcohol and sleep

(26.30) Exercising before bed

(27.43) Are there specific foods that help sleep?

(28.51) Time between dinner and sleep

(29.09) The most beneficial thing you can do to get a good night’s sleep

(29.44) The link between sleep and anxiety and depression

(30.44) Genetics and insomnia

(31.49) Impact of sleep and memory

(32.15) Sleep and dementia relationship

(33.19) Ageing and how this impacts sleep

(35.19) The most surprising things I’ve learnt from sleep research

(36.50) Where to find out more on sleep improvement


On this podcast we will chatting with Dr Joanna McMillan, a PHD qualified nutrition scientist and accredited practicing dietician. Joanna will help explain how good eating and lifestyle habits can help to slow the ageing process of the brain.

(0:35) The brain and ageing

(3.09) Key risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia

(4.28) Should we fear carbohydrates?

(5.22) Role of carbohydrates in brain health

(6.52) Understanding the impact of different forms of carbohydrates

(7.51) Smart carbohydrates

(8.59) Top wholegrains to include in the diet

(10.17) Diversify your grains

(10.47) Fibre types and brain health

(11.45) Where to find resistant starch

(13.07) The gut and the brain

(13.41) Protein and brain health

(15.57) Embracing good fats in the diet

(17.37) Cognition and extra virgin olive oil

(19.29) Key foods to emphasise for better brain health

(21.10) Foods to cut out for better brain health

(22.18) Where to find out more on this topic


Andrew Fuller is a clinical psychologist who has worked with over 1,000 schools and more than 500,000 young people. Andrew is a Fellow at the University of Melbourne and has been a scientific consultant on the ABC. He has also written more than 8 books on the topics of parenting, resilience, and identifying strengths for young people.

(0:42) How did you become interested in building resilience in children and teens?

(1:27) Definition of resilience

(2:29) How do we know if we need to build resilience in our children and teens?

(2:45) Importance of making mistakes

(3:45) How to foster and build resilience in children and teens

(4:40) Importance of connection

(4:55) Importance of protection

(5:22) Importance of respect

(6:08) What to look for when choosing a school

(8:21) The importance of role modelling

(9:52) How to connect to your own learning strengths

(12:13) Setting boundaries

(14:48) Recognising low self-esteem in children or teens

(16:55) Developing social skills

(19:03) Consistency and how this impacts your child

(21:51) Separated families and resilience

(24:21) “Click and go” generation

(26:27) Instant gratification

(28:20) Teaching kids to wait

(29:21) Key ways to maintain good relationships with kids

(30:19) Rituals and why they are important

(31:14) Top 3 golden rules of parenting

(35:36) How can parents and carers look after themselves?

(37:50) What books have you written on the topic?


In this episode we’ll be talking to Dr Sonia Davison who is an endocrinologist with extensive experience and special interest in Women's Health. She is a Clinical Fellow with Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and has also been a research fellow at the Women’s Health Research Program, Monash University. She is currently working in private practice at Cabrini Medical Centre, Malvern, and at Jean Hailes for Women's Health, in Clayton.

(0:36) The role of the endocrinologist

(0:56) Hormones and their role in the body

(1:37) Types of hormones

(3:06) Hormonal fluctuations by life stage

(4:20) Hormonal imbalance

(5:07) Thyroid hormone imbalances

(6:15) Symptoms of overactive thyroid

(6:38) The effect of hormones on mood

(7:48) Impact of stress on hormones

(8:52) Stress management to improve hormone health

(10:02) Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – hormone fluctuations and symptoms

(11:37) Where to find more information on women’s hormone health


In this episode we’ll be talking to Dr Rosie Worsley who is an endocrinologist specialising in women’s health on the topic of menopause. Rosie consults at the Jean Hailes Medical Centre and worked in the Alfred Hospital Women’s Health and Women’s Mental Health Clinics for 5 years looking after the endocrine needs of women.

Rosie completed her PhD in menopause in 2017 and has received the young investigator prize from the Australian, European and International Menopause Societies.

(0:49) The role of the endocrinologist

(1:22) Explanation of menopause

(2.06) Menopausal symptoms

(3:48) How you can alleviate symptoms

(5:07) Impact of menopause on mood and mental health

(6:10) Hormone therapy – benefits and risks

(8:45) Bioidentical hormones

(9:58) Cognitive behavioural therapy – what it is and use in menopause

(11:05) Health after menopause

(11:52) Looking after your bones

(12:33) Where to find more information about menopause


In this episode we’ll be discussing the issues faced by caregivers of people with a mental illness and how to reduce carer burden, as well as the development of novel therapies with Professor Michael Berk.

Michael is the Alfred Deakin Chair of Psychiatry at Deakin University and Barwon Health, where he heads the IMPACT Strategic Research Centre. He also is an Honorary Professorial Research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health and Orygen Youth Health at Melbourne University, as well as in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.

(0:49) Why the focus on the role of the caregiver?

(2:05) Issues faced by caregivers

(3:34) Ways that caregivers can look after themselves

(4:43) What are the steps to reduce caregiver burden?

(6:05) What do partners, family and friends of someone with a mental illness want to know?

(8:08) What supports are being developed for caregivers

(10:47) Novel therapies in mental health care

(14:30) Stigma and mental illness

(16:26) Benefits from supporting caregivers

(17:38) IMPACT research centre and work they do

(19:08) Research trials currently being undertaken


In this episode we’ll be discussing the tools to create lasting changes in order to break habits, plan for success and master your health. Shivaun Conn is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Health Coach, Vice President of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, and Director of Discovery Health Coaching. Shivaun has worked for over 15 years as a dietitian, health coach and presenter. She currently coaches individuals in nutrition and lifestyle, trains practitioners in health behaviour change, and develops health change programs across a range of sectors.

(0:38) Shivaun’s background and how you started working in the health coaching field

(1.44) What is behaviour change?

(2:17) What is a vision and how do you create one?

(4:01) Where to start when changing our health

(4:56) Common barriers and how to overcome them

(6:11) Reducing the barriers to healthy eating

(7:48) Our environment and health behaviour

(9:30) Thoughts and beliefs, and their impact on behaviour

(11:33) Values and priorities and their link to health

(12:55) Our social network and how it affects our health

(14:08) Setting and staying motivated with goals

(17:00) Creating an action plan to achieve your goals

(19:24) Positive thinking techniques and how it helps to achieve goals

(23:04) Why it’s hard to break habits and how to can overcome this

(25:37) What is the process of working with a health coach


In this episode how food affects our mood will be discussed, along with strategies to maximise mental wellbeing with Professor Felice Jacka. Felice is the director of the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University, and founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research.

(00:42) Setting the scene on diet, gut and mental health

(8:51) Modifiable risk factors and mental health

(9:55) Quality of diet and mental health in adolescents, pregnancy and a child’s first years of life

(13:18) Targeting diet for prevention and treatment of depression

(13:44) The gut microbiota and link to the brain

(18:03) Importance of fibre and the microbiota

(19:49) Infant microbiota, brain development and immune system

(21:40) Key dietary components to include to improve brain and mental health

(23:27) Polyphenols – what they are and the microbiome

(23:24) The benefits of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids

(25:09) Artificial sweetener, emulsifiers and the gut

(26:30) Things that disturb our gut health

(28:00) Herbs, spices and gut health

(28:24) When you change your diet, how long does it take for a change to occur in the microbiota?

(30:12) Probiotics and the microbiota


At the time of publication, GMHBA have provided current, evidence-based information, however information contained in these podcasts should not be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. Views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily the view of GMHBA and we make no representation regarding the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information. GMHBA is not liable for any loss or damage suffered arising out of the reliance on the information, text, photos or advertisements used in this podcast, except that which cannot be excluded by law. All materials appearing in GMHBA’s Healthier Together podcast is copyright.