How can a dietitian help me?

08 Apr 2024

How can a dietitian help me? 

A chat with headspace Wollongong’s resident nutrition expert, Katrina (she/her) on the wonderful ways she is helping young people. 

At headspace we are best known for the mental health services, but we also have a number of other services available to support young people's health and wellbeing. One of the services available at headspace Wollongong that may be offered to you by your intake worker or clinician is our wonderful dietitian, Katrina. But this may have you thinking… How can a dietitian help me? What will this look like? 

We had a chat with Katrina on all the ways she can help support young people at headspace Wollongong. 

In your own words can you describe what a dietitian is?

A Dietitian is an allied health professional who understands how food and nutrition affects the body and can give you expert nutrition and dietary advice. Dietitians provide you with personal support to help you improve your health and wellbeing through food and nutrition.

What type of things/goals does a dietitian help young people with at headspace?

Dietitians can help people for lots of different things. Here at headspace, Katrina can help you to improve eating and nourish your body through good nutrition, build a better relationship with food, provide guidance around cooking and shopping for nutritious meals, provide advice to help treat a diet-related illness, and provide nutrition support around low appetite, gut-related issues, nutritional deficiencies, and disordered eating. A nutritious diet is not just good for your body, but also good for your brain and mental health.

What an appointment with Katrina might look like. 

Your first appointment with Katrina will typically be 1 hour long. In this appointment, Katrina will want to get to know you and ask you a few questions around your medical history, lifestyle and eating to help better understand your current situation. She will then provide some information and develop goals/strategies collaboratively with you.

A follow-up appointment will usually take 30 minutes. In this appointment, Katrina will check-in to see how things have gone since the last appointment, respond to any questions or concerns you might have, and provide further support and guidance based on what you want or need.

A little about Katrina…

As a Dietitian there is no surprise that Katrina loves food and cooking for friends and family. She is also a very sporty person who enjoys playing soccer and oztag, running and surfing. She also enjoys going to the beach for a swim or walk and reading (last year she read 30 books!). Outside of headspace, Katrina is a health researcher in nutrition, heart disease and public health. 

Katrina’s favourite part of the role?

Everyone eats so Katrina loves being able to support young people around food and helping them eat nutritiously for health and wellbeing and finds this a very rewarding experience. She feels it is super important that young people have the knowledge and skills around food and nutrition to build strong foundations for life.