I’ve #ScreenedForMe campaign launched

Zac Standish

Gippsland Primary Health Network celebrated the two-year anniversary of its #ScreenForMe program by launching phase two of the campaign ‘I’ve #ScreenedForMe’.

A strong crowd formed at the Moe Library last week to mark the occasion, with powerful presentations from cancer survivors Donna Faulkner and Cr Kellie O’Callaghan signifying the impact of the campaign.

Campaign coordinator Lauren Sewell said she hoped to see as many people screened as possible.

“#ScreenForMe is a social media and marketing campaign that aims to encourage the Latrobe Valley community to call upon their loved ones to screen for cancer, the three screening programs are cervical, breast and bowel,” she said.

Ms Sewell said it was great to see the amount of people supporting the cause in its first phase.

“It was a really successful start, being a social media campaign we had a lot of sharing and things like that on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook,” she said.

“We had a lot of people jump on board, local caf├ęs, community sporting clubs, schools and other prominent businesses throw their support behind what we were doing, which was fantastic.”

Latrobe City councillor Kellie O’Callaghan said the screening process was extremely important, having gone through breast cancer herself.

“I would not have found my cancer any other way, if not for the screening system and the process of reminding and turning up I would be in a lot worse state than I am now, even with some scars to show for it,” Cr O’Callaghan said.

“One of the most important messages is you need to participate in screenings even if you don’t have any indications and are feeling perfectly fit and healthy, the reality of the situation is the earlier screening can detect any issues and the more likely you are going to have a successful treatment program.

“It really is important to also remind other people when you are participating in your own screenings, whether you are giving a shout-out on your socials, sharing with your work or club mates, just encouraging other people to let them know what they are about.”

Cr O’Callaghan said it was an honour to be asked to share her story as part of the campaign.

“It is a real privilege to be here and speak to a personal experience, it is not always easy, I have days were I can share it and it’s fine and others where it is not,” she said.

“The nature of talking about it breaks down the barriers to people being confident enough to ask questions about the screening process.”

Ms Sewell said the focus of the campaign has shifted slightly as it enters its second phase.

“The (I’ve #ScreenedForMe) phase is around people who have already screened for cancer to advocate and encourage other people in their lives to follow suit,” she said.

“People wanting to get involved can check out our social media platforms, or you can also go to the Gippsland PHN website.”