Wellbeing & Support Update – 9 October

October 8, 2020

Not just essential but exceptional

There have been so many acts of kindness from our community to our workforce in these busy and uncertain times, and this has been an amazing lift to morale and spirits.

Western Health has had over 40,000 items donated though the generosity of our community.   These items have included meals, chocolates, drinks, sweets and other things like face masks and sanitizer and hand cream.

Last Monday 28th September we commenced a huge logistical exercise to pack and distribute our Exceptional Worker Care Packs consisting of donations from our community along with some special items of thanks.  A team of over 30 people packed 6000 bags in the Sunshine gym using a COVID safe work plan over the course of 2 days and then undertook the distribution to our workforce at all sites.  It was an enormous job but done with exceptional joy.

Read some of the reactions from staff and see some photos on the Kindness Matters page.

Our primary focus for distribution was our clinical and non-clinical support workforce who have been directly caring for our community around the clock over the past 6 months. That said, ALL our staff are valued highly and we thank you for your continued commitment to Western Health.

Inspire Awards 2020 – 15 October

The Western Health INSPIRE Awards recognise employees and volunteers, individuals and teams, whose actions inspire others to live our values. They offer another way of saying thank you to someone who has made a difference to your day or to the experience of patients or others.

We received a record number of nominations for the October Inspire Awards, which is a wonderful reflection of the fantastic work being done by Western Health staff during these difficult and challenging times, and also demonstrates how much staff are appreciating and supporting one another.

The Inspire Awards Presentation, normally held in the WCHRE auditorium, will for the first time be a live streamed event to be hosted by Chief Executive, Russell Harrison and Suellen Bruce, Executive Director People, Culture and Communications.

There will be 49 Individual Awards, nine Team Awards, four Inspirational Story Winners and the Chief Executive’s Positive Workplace Award to be announced.

The live streamed Inspire Awards Presentation will take place on Thursday 15th October between 3pm and 4pm. Please join in, and if you are at home at the time, invite your family to sit in with you.

A link to view this event will be made available to all employees, so please join in and help celebrate our wonderful award winners.

Positive Workplace Culture

Research tells us when people are extremely busy and feeling under pressure, the time available to communicate well and be civil to each other shrinks. We also know that in a highly diverse, multi-generational environment such as ours, you can’t assume everyone has the same idea of what constitutes good manners and civility.

So what can we do to ensure our interactions with one another are in line with Western Health’s values? Here’s a concept from our SCORE program that is easy to understand and apply, called the 4 A’s of Respect:

  • Acknowledging: Saying and doing something that recognises another person’s presence
  • Accepting: Welcoming a person into your conversation, group or project
  • Accommodating: Modifying your activities or space to help another person participate or to work more effectively
  • Appreciating: Expressing thanks for another person’s contribution or expressing admiration for the quality of that contribution

By saturating your environment with behaviour aligned with the 4 As, we can create more positive cultures within every Western Health workplace, even in our new world of virtual!

Annual leave

It’s been said many times, it’s been a busy year juggling work and home and contending with the additional changes at work, on top of home schooling and separation from family and friends. For many of us, Western Health had restricted leave to manage the surge of cases in Wave 2 of COVID but as numbers are now low we are really keen to take time to recover. To ensure the wellbeing of all our employees, have a conversation with your manager and see if you can plan to take some leave. Applications for annual leave will not be unreasonably declined. While we need to ensure there are enough staff available to safely operate, all employees are encouraged to plan a period of annual leave now that we are seeing the tail end of the COVID surge.

World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2020

World Mental Health day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. An initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.

Mental Health Australia has developed a campaign with the aim of challenging negative perceptions around mental illness and encouraging people to take a more positive view of mental illness. Here are 10 tips to look after your mental health.

Prioritising mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever at this time. Support the campaign by making your own mental health promise, to remind yourself to look after your wellbeing. CLICK HERE, it only takes a couple of minutes.

Wellbeing Wednesdays – a new Webinar Series

Western Health has arranged a series of quick, informative and practical sessions on wellbeing topics, I am sure there will be something in these sessions for everyone.

21/10: How to clear your mind

28/10: Responding to an angry outburst

11/11: Role Ambiguity in health

25/11: Healthy discussions

9/12: Unpredictable change

Zoom links and passwords for these sessions so you can place them in your diary can be found on the Wellbeing page of the COVID microsite. The slides will be posted after each session, for those of you who are unable to attend.


Suellen Bruce

On behalf of the Executive Team