September 1, 2020

Join the conversation and let’s talk about mental wellness

As an organisation, we started the ‘Conversations on Mental Wellness Week’ in 2018 and will be continuing those conversations this year too.

Michelle Fenwick, Executive Director People and Culture, explained this year, due to COVID-19, all events will be held via MS Teams, offering our staff a chance to join numerous sessions from the comfort of their home or work space.

“I would like to invite staff to participate in Northern Health’s ‘Virtual Conversations on Mental Wellness’ commencing Monday, 7 September through to Friday, 11 September 2020. This year, we are focusing on bringing mindfulness, yoga, nutrition and TREAT rest and recovery sessions at different times during the week, so you can join during your coffee or lunch break or from home,” she said.

“Northern Health’s ongoing commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our staff is on display during all of next week. There are lots of opportunities to participate in a variety of sessions including yoga and TREAT rest and recovery, education, discussion panels, and a very topical Grand Round that I’m sure will be thought provoking. Sessions are on offer across time slots and we’re encouraging staff across all areas to participate” added Will Halpin, Director OHS and Wellbeing.

With 2020 proving to be a very challenging year for everyone, the wellbeing team is encouraging everyone to make a ‘Wellbeing pledge for 2020’ and write or draw a few things they would like to focus on to improve their mental health this year.

“Please download the pledge cards (click here), and set yourself a goal of improving your wellbeing by the end of 2020. Those can be even small things like reading a new book every month or cutting down on TV time,” Michelle added.

“We look forward to staff attending these events during the week and  ‘continuing the conversation’ on mental wellness, while focusing on their wellbeing the whole year,” Will added.

Northern Health’s psychologists agree that as health care workers we are often busy looking after the health and wellbeing of others and overlook our own self-care.

Dr Brooke Froud-Cummins, Clinical Leader, Psychology, said, “We simply can’t afford this mindset in the times of COVID-19 as the increased physical and psychological demands will eventually affect each and every one of us. Self-care is about making a plan to stay healthy in mind and body to get through this pandemic; we won’t be looking after anyone otherwise. Self care is vital.”

Some program highlights include:

  • ’15 minutes of Mental Clarity ‘at 9 am every morning – start your day with a clear mind with Jo Gibbs from TREAT
  • Grand Round – ‘Kindness in Healthcare’ with Dr Jane Munro, Head of Rheumatology at the Royal Children’s Hospital  – Thursday, 10 September, 8 am – 9 am
  • Nutrition and Mental health session – with Emma Inglish, Dietitian, Wednesday, 9 September, 2 – 2.30 pm.
  • Complete TREAT rest and recovery – 45 minute session to relax after a busy day – Thursday, 10 September, 7 pm – 7.45 pm.

Please click here to see the timetable of events, speaker bios and MS Teams links to all the sessions.