April 8, 2021

Northern gets the Wellbeing Grant

Earlier this year, Northern Health applied for a ‘Healthcare Worker Wellbeing Grant’, from the Department of Health and is one of few Metro Health Services that received this grant.

“When we were filling out the application, we were thinking how we can make most of the funding if we received it. What we wanted to do was to use the grant to build a new wellbeing team. Part of the grant will be hiring 2,5 EFT – a team leader, wellbeing team advisor and a project psychologist,” explained Jade Ralston, Director People and Culture.

The main reason for Northern Health’s wellbeing team to adopt this approach was to avoid standard, off-the-shelf wellbeing initiatives, and to hire new wellbeing experts who will consult with our staff and design a tailored program.

“Our workforce is also very diverse. Not everyone has access to emails, live Teams events, English is not everyone’s first language and we needed to ensure our wellbeing program incorporates that,” Jade explained.

“This grant to ensure ‘Our staff are enabled to thrive’ and allows us to implement and embed evidence-based Wellbeing program ‘THRIVE’ with the key elements of Protect, Promote and Intervene and implement peer support program and psychological safety education and Employee Assisted Program services”, said Michelle Fenwick Executive Director, People & Culture.

The job ads for the new wellbeing team are currently being advertised, and Jade and the team are hoping the new team will be appointed over the few weeks.

“In addition to getting funding for the new team members, we knew we needed a new ‘peer support program’, and the new team will be focused on developing that too, and we have already recommenced our TREAT offerings,” she added.

Evelyne Kollaras, Workforce Wellbeing Advisor added the most successful wellbeing initiatives from last year are still on offer at Northern Health. “Offers like TREAT, Rest & Recovery sessions and yoga are available for our staff. Yoga will be held face to face, at Henry’s cafe upstairs, on Wednesdays, 7.30-8 am, while TREAT is on offer on Mondays, 9 – 9.15 am via MS Teams. Mindfulness club is also coming back this year. More information on dates, times, and links are available on our Intranet page,” she said.

More initiatives will be available in 2021 like the mental health first aid and shared reflection sessions. “These sessions teach our staff how to de-brief after an incident and a psychologist will be running these,” Jade explained.

Once the new team starts, the current initiatives are planned to stay, with the new ones rolling out, tailored to the Northern Health needs. “After COVID-19, looking after our staff wellbeing is more important than ever. We are so excited we have received this funding and looking forward to supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of our hard-working staff”.

Current wellbeing offerings can be found on THRIVE Staff Wellbeing page. For more information and MS Team links, please email ohswb@nh.org.au