August 28, 2018

Mental Wellness: Start the Conversation

From 10 – 13 September, Northern Health will be holding a week of ‘Conversations on Mental Wellness’ as part of our Psychological Wellbeing Strategy.

The program focuses on three main areas; protection, prevention and intervention, as an initiative to protect the mental health of Northern Health staff, promote wellbeing, and intervene to address mental health concerns.

World Suicide Prevention Day will mark the start of the program on Monday 10 September, with Layne Stretton from Roses in the Ocean speaking about the impact suicide can have on families and communities, and the signs to look out for.

Speakers and sessions will run until R U OK? Day to close the program on Thursday 13 September.

The objective of these events is to showcase Northern Health’s commitment to a psychologically safe workplace, and provide tangible steps towards a number of actions, including raising awareness, combating stigma, suicide prevention and promoting positive mental health.

One of the featured speakers, Northern Health Pastoral Care Coordinator, David Paterson, describes conversations on mental wellness as “openness to asking the question about how someone else is doing and openness to giving an honest answer.”

“When someone asks how you are, instead of the trite answer, ‘fine how are you?’, stop, pause and reflect on how you are really. Are you tired, sad, depressed, happy, flat or simply don’t know?”

Molly Galea (pictured), Northern Health Allied Health Education Lead, will be speaking on how great teams make great workplaces. She says her session will be an interactive, active and playful look at how you can contribute to creating a mentally healthy workplace.

So what does mental wellness mean to Molly?

“It means I am happy with where I am in my life, and who I have around me. It’s feeling I’m contributing to the world and my community, knowing that I have the emotional resources to come through adversity and times of trouble.”

“Every interaction we have promotes or detracts from others’ mental health. It is our network of identities that make us who we are. A web of identities means that if one fails, we have a whole bunch of other identities to catch us,” she said.

To start the conversation, please click here.