Jennifer joined the Hunter Institute of Mental Health in January 2017 and has a Ba of Nutrition and Dietetics (Hons) and works within the Suicide Prevention team. Jennifer has a broad work experience history in the food service industry and as Industry Dietitian; from developing ready-to-eat meals for a large supermarket chain to recipe development as a nutritionist in the media. Jennifer has also worked as the Investigative Assistant on a pilot study at the Calvary Mater Newcastle which explored the appropriateness of the inpatient food service on the population of palliative patients.
Jennifer has a special interest in food security and the effects on the availability of food and appropriate nutrition on individuals and the community.
“Availability, or access to food can be impacted from a range of barriers. From geographic and socio-economic factors through to emotional and physical barriers which can negatively impact on adequate nutrition. Eating disorders can create a range of barriers for both individuals and their carers alike and suicide prevention is a big part of recovery.”
Jennifer’s experience as a Dietitian and knowledge of media, product development and marketing is helpful to providing a more holistic approach to suicide prevention in the eating disorder population.
Jennifer’s interest in positively portraying mental illness and suicide in the media is reflected in her continued development of strong working relationships with stakeholders.
Jennifer is passionate about an ‘all inclusive’ approach to nutrition and it's portrayal in the media. Her social media presence as an Industry Dietitian places focus on the taste, texture and temperature of food and drinks (in place of only listing out health benefits and nutrition facts) as a way to engage with her target audience and remain protective to vulnerable people with an eating disorder.
“Food is more than just a form of fuel. It is our connection to our friends and family, our traditions and our community. Food doesn’t need to be just about how much or how little of something it has in it, it is about celebrating our ability to choose our health outcomes on a daily basis and enjoy life.”
Jennifer bases her approach to nutrition advice and the five food groups in the media from the evidence-based guidelines: Australian Guide to Healthy Eating developed by the NHMRC and the Department of Health which was established from the review of over 55,000 scientific journals by nutrition and medical experts.