October 10, 2022

Make your mental health a priority

Today is World Mental Health Day – a day to make mental health and wellbeing a global priority for all.

There’s no doubt that the last two years have been tough, challenging, and at times, taken a toll on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“The last couple of years have been incredibly testing for our community, and in particular, our workforce – the frontline workers who have cared for the safety of others throughout a period of immense stress, distress and uncertainty,” said Renee Camilleri, Wellbeing Partner, People and Culture.

The theme for World Mental Health Day 2022 is to make mental health and wellbeing a global priority for all. In line with this sentiment, Northern Health acknowledges it is important now, more than ever, that we create a psychologically safe work environment for our staff and celebrate days such as World Mental Health Day to raise awareness and promote the importance of speaking up when our plates are full.

To look after their mental health, staff are encouraged to practice self-awareness, look at their daily habits and prioritise their own self-care.

“These can be simple, manageable acts to implement in your daily routing – going for a walk, cooking your favourite meal or having coffee with a friend. Looking out for, and recognising, signs and symptoms when you don’t feel yourself is a protective factor that can be strengthened overtime, and in turn, can create a greater awareness for how the people in our lives our also coping,” Renee said.

Belinda Scott, Executive Director, Mental Health, said, “Practicing self-awareness encourages you to look at your daily habits and how you can prioritise your own self-care. Asking yourself questions like, ‘How did I speak to myself today?’, ‘What can I do today for my own wellbeing?’ and actively reflecting on what it is that brings you joy.”

“It is important to normalise conversations around mental health and reduce the stigma in reaching out for help. Promoting protective factors and encouraging a workplace that understands life’s challenges and how it can affect our performance, and how we show up to work.”

“We know our people and their families have been significantly impacted by global events including conflicts and wars, public health emergencies, and social and economic inequalities. In addition to our day-to-day work, our mental health can be impacted by what is happening in our world and we hold that in our minds as we celebrate this day.”

October also marks Mental Health Awareness Month. Here at Northern Health, we kicked off the month with an initiative organised by the Black Dog Institute called One Foot Forward, that encourages us to walk for mental health. A Northern Health team has been set up so staff can join and record their kilometres walked during October. More information can be found here.

At 12 noon today, the Black Dog Institute hosted a webinar on common mental health support options, and spoke about how individuals can effectively communicate these resources in their workplace. The Black Dog Instititue also has many resources for the month, and we encourage you to visit their site here.

As always, we encourage staff to look after themselves 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.

Visit the Intranet for wellbeing offerings and programs available to staff.