March 3, 2022

Looking after your wellbeing

At Northern Health, we continue to support and wrap care around our people.

As we are all aware, it has been a tough two years, and in some places this continues, especially as we watch what is happening in Ukraine, and the floods affecting Australians in Queensland and NSW.

Many of us will find the news and images of the unfolding events distressing, and for some, old traumas may be reactivated.

“Processing this news can be difficult – even if you are physically removed. Our thoughts are with those in Eastern Europe and Queensland/NSW at this time, and with the people who work with us and live in our community,” said Stephen Whittaker, Wellbeing Team Leader.

“With all that is happening, it is important that staff know how to access support. That is why we have many offerings available and are creating initiatives to promote, protect and support the wellbeing of all Northern Health employees,” added Stephen.

Renee Camilleri, Wellbeing Advisor, explained some of the support offerings in place for staff.

“A regular mindfulness practice can reduce our stress response, which is why Collective Pauses will continue to take place every Thursday, with calendar invites sent out as a reminder for managers to forward on to their staff,” Renee said.

All dates and times are available on our intranet here.

“As always, we encourage you to look after yourselves and each other, and to reach out to our services if you require one-on-one support. Northern Health’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you and your family – it’s a free and confidential service that offers professional support for work-related or personal issues. The contact number is 1300 687 327,” said Renee.

“We also have useful resources from our EAP provider available on our intranet and on our MedApp platform,” she added.

“During this time, some things you can do to improve your wellbeing include reaching out to mental health support services and EAP – especially if recent events stir up other memories or feelings from a past stressful event. You can also limit media exposure, particularly if it is increasing your distress,” explained Casey O’Brien, Wellbeing Project Psychologist.

“Talk about your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust – let your friends and family know of your needs. Help them to help you by letting them know when you need time out, or want a chance to talk or just be with someone,” Casey added.

For staff caring for children, be aware that children may need more comfort and reassurance during these times.

“For anyone feeling a sense of powerlessness, taking positive action, like contributing to humanitarian aid efforts, may help. Lean on the tools you have for self-care. Allow time for rest, relaxation, exercise and social connection,” said Casey.

Featured image: Staff at Northern Hospital Epping