We put out the call for teams across Monash Health to tell us how they promoted R U OK? Day and how they have managed to stay connected during a time where they may otherwise be apart. We had an amazing range of submissions come through that demonstrated how teams created safe, welcoming spaces for people to have conversations about how they might be feeling.
All submissions went in the running to win a meditation and relaxation session for their team. We are pleased to announce that Dandenong Emergency Department and Moorabbin Theatre have been named our winners!
Dandenong Emergency Department
The team at Dandenong promoted R U OK? Day by setting up a conversation bench with signage and promoting it as a mobile free zone. This created a calm, comfortable place for people to take a moment out of their busy day and check in with one another.
Everyone was encouraged to participate, whether it was through joining an exercise and meditation session, wearing yellow or joining the yellow paper plane flying competition. They also created a fun video to bring some joy to the day!
At the end of the week, the welfare team reported that there was lots of positive feedback from the employees and people were engaging in conversation, more so than they normally would. The team at Dandenong created an inviting atmosphere filled with talk, laughter and engagement. Well done to everyone who participated!
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Moorabbin Theatre team were unable to have their R U OK? morning tea. Instead, they decided to raise money in support of the cause by selling black face masks with the yellow ‘R U OK?’ logo on them. The team managed to raise $750! They voted to divide the money between two organisations, PANDA and MIND, which provide mental health support services.
On the day, the team made sure to wear their R U OK? face masks, as a reminder to start the conversation. The unit pride themselves on their spirit of support and kindness and have supported Mental Health wards and other organisations over the years in many ways. Well done to the team for their fantastic effort and creative thinking!
We had an amazing range of submissions, with teams across our many sites going above and beyond. It was fantastic to see so many teams take the time to reflect and engage with one another. Here are the ways which teams across Monash Health have stayed connected and promoted R U OK? Day:
The Dental teams at Thomas Street and Dandenong Hospital took some time out of their day to catch up over Webex and donned their yellow to promote the cause!
Although our Language Services team are normally based at two different locations, they say working from home has brought them closer together.
“We have had the opportunity to share resources across both sites and are calling on each other rather than outsourcing to external service providers.”
The team organised a Webex catch up on R U OK? Day and held up signs in different languages with the phrase “Staying apart is keeping us together”. Well done to our Language Services team for the vital work they are doing!
Pharmacy Mental Health at Dandenong
The Mental Health Pharmacy team is playing an increasingly important role in the COVID-19 response. The current restrictions can impact our mental health and the team has articulated this beautifully through their message and submitted photo.
“Sometimes we feel like we are in the dark shadows and sometimes in the light. Sometimes we feel restricted and distant (particularly during this pandemic, where even as a group we remain 1.5 metres apart). We are demonstrating that many mental health conditions can easily remain hidden behind masks and guarded by shields. However, by asking the question R U OK?, we become empowered to bring these various emotions to the forefront. It gives us an opportunity to connect, listen with an open mind and start a conversation which acknowledges a person’s struggles and suicidal risk. Asking the question R U OK?, encouraging feedback and regularly checking in, makes us the key source to prevention.”
A powerful message and timely reminder to remain engaged with your colleagues and loved ones.
Customer Service Admission
Our Customer Service team are located across the main receptions of multiple Monash Health sites. They are often the first point of contact for employees, patients and visitors. Making sure everyone is ‘OK’ is a big part of how they make Monash Health an inviting, safe healthcare environment for our community.
The team often lend an ear to anxious patients and family members, help deescalate situations with upset family members, and always wear a smile for those who are passing by. Despite the challenges that have arisen this year, they have continued to smile, so brightly you can see their smiles behind their masks!
The team at front reception at Monash Children’s Hospital decorated the space with balloons and streamers to greet some of our youngest patients!
Drug and Alcohol Services
Our team in the Drug and Alcohol service decorated their office with bright yellow balloons and posters! They took their R U OK? morning tea online, with a catch up over Webex. The team continue to provide an excellent service to the community and have demonstrated great flexibility in adapting to COVID-19 restrictions.
Clayton Emergency Department
Our team in the Emergency Department at Clayton hung up balloons and an R U OK? poster with thoughtful messages.
“We have supported each other during COVID-19 because even after a busy shift, we always find a way to lift each other up!”
A lovely message and reminder from the team!
Our Outbreak Prevention team are doing vital work in residential aged care facilities, supported residential aged care facilities and disability group homes.
At times, their work can be emotionally challenging. In order to support each other and encourage the celebration of little wins, the team has made a group chat where they can communicate and check in with one another. They also donned some yellow and caught up virtually through Webex.
The Monash Ultrasound team promoted R U OK? Day across all of our sites by dressing in yellow. They also connected across sites by jumping onto a call and showing off their yellow gear!
Throughout the last few months, our Diabetes team started talking about a buddy system to debrief with someone you trust and ensuring that the question R U OK? is asked in a time and place which is conducive to the answer, especially if the answer is no.
They had a lunchtime Webex together, where they discussed what has been good about this year, what has been hard and what are they look forward to. Many of the team mentioned that the day of yellow brought happiness and smiles to their faces. The day was a reminder of what a wonderful team spirit they have!
Our library team continue to fuel education and research at Monash Health. While they have had to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions, they still found time to wear some yellow and catch up virtually to check in with each other.
It is important we continue having these conversations and looking after each other. If you missed the panel, you can watch their presentation here. You can find resources on how to look after your health and wellbeing on the Monash Health COVID-19 website. We also have support services available to Monash Health employees such as Call a Psychologist and EAP. You can also tune into our Thursday Employee Forums, where we aim to bring you more wellbeing presentations.
Approved by Karen Lowe