White Ribbon Accreditation - On Our Journey

AccessEAP continue to be White Ribbon approved trainers and are in the process of the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program. The Workplace Accreditation Program recognises workplaces that refine workplace practices to prevent and respond to violence against women, accrediting them as a White Ribbon Workplace. The initiative is globally recognised and award winning. The Workplace Accreditation Program supports workplaces to meet 15 criteria under three standards, adapting organisational culture, policies and procedures to create a safer, supportive and more respectful workplace.

AccessEAP provides White Ribbon approved training programs and trainers to assist organisations in their commitment to support the victims of domestic violence in the workplace. This training may form part of your DV Plan or may be part of your White Ribbon accreditation process. AccessEAP supports companies in educating employees as part of creating a domestic violence action plan based around three elements; Recognise, Respond, Refer. The training includes raising awareness and understanding and challenging stereotypes.

In addition to White Ribbon Approved training AccessEAP also run trainings for Domestic and Family Violence Awareness and our recently developed, Sexual Harassment training.

Domestic and Family Violence Awareness - This training provides the latest information around Violence against Women (VAW). Participants will gain a much greater insight into what women and children go through when exposed to domestic violence and learn how to look for the signs that a fellow colleague is struggling with this issue as well as a best practice approach to recognise, respond and refer them for help and support.

Sexual Harassment - This training explains what sexual harassment is and what it is not, an overview of the laws designed to prevent sexual harassment at work and practical case studies illustrating what sexual harassment is and the consequences of this behaviour for employers and individual employees.

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Time to Connect

You don’t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time. You just need to be able to listen to their concerns without judgment and take the time to follow up with them.

10 Tips on How to Have a Conversation on R U OK? Day

1. Know your colleagues

Relationship building is very important when it comes to mental health in the workplace. You will need to feel comfortable to approach a colleague that you may be concerned about. Also in order to pick up that someone is behaving out of character you will need to know how they usually behave.

2. Approach the person

It may be difficult to do, feeling a little anxious about approaching a colleague to ask them if they are OK is normal, it is necessary that we do it none the less. Think about whether you are the right person to approach your colleague, and if for any reason you think you may not be the best person, employ the appropriate person to approach your colleague you are concerned about. Make sure this is done with discretion and confidentially.

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It's Here! Women's Health Week 2019

Jean Hailes Women’s Health Week is a week dedicated to all women across Australia to make good health a priority. The two biggest barriers for women not maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ‘lack of time’ and ‘health not being a priority’. Women’s Health Week is the time to do something for your health and start making positive changes that can last a lifetime! Click the below calendar for the more information about the daily activities.

With so many competing demands and expectations, the struggle to keep up with both work and home commitments can be extremely stressful. When stress persists to a point that a person feels they aren’t coping, it can affect the functioning of their day-to-day life as well as their overall wellbeing. The stressors of too much ‘juggling’ together with trying to do things well and be ‘good’ at everything is impacting on women and their ability to sleep, think clearly and make decisions.

For more information about Women's Health and Wellbeing contact your Relationship Manager who can go through our Women's Wellbeing Training and Webinar options.

 

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R U OK? Day: How can HR prepare?

Published in Human Resources Director 22nd August, 2019.

Over the course of an adult’s life, they will spend up to 4,821 days at work.

This creates an opportunity for managers and HR leaders to start a dialogue with their staff, according to Marcela Slepica, Clinical Director at AccessEAP.

Employees may be struggling to cope and employers can play a role in creating an environment of acceptance and to normalise asking for help. “Managers can ensure they are providing helpful information and the support structures which employees may need.”

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The key to being more productive at work? Sleep on it

Businesses dedicate significant funds to initiatives that drive employee performance, but one basic, yet crucial element may be overlooked, warn leading workplace psychologists. A study has shown that 39.8 per cent of Australians [1] are not getting enough sleep and that sleep deprivation is equating to productivity losses of $17.9 billion.

We’ve become an ‘always-on’ society and while it may seem like a win for businesses, what they gain in hours is lost inefficiency. Keeping our phones and laptops within arm’s reach at all times to work at any given time has a significant impact on our mental and physical health. In this fast-paced environment, something has to give, and for many it’s sleep. We are in a dangerous cycle of not getting all of the work done because we’re sleep-deprived, and not sleeping because we’re not getting all of the work done.

Lack of sleep negatively affects our ability to think clearly, learn, concentrate and retain important information, which affects efficiency in the workplace. In a recent study, employees who reported ‘almost always’ feeling tired during the day had 4.4 times more productivity loss than those who reported ‘almost never’ feeling tired [2].

Insufficient sleep also impacts our mood and emotional wellbeing. Whilst extreme lack of sleep can induce serious psychological effects such as paranoia and memory loss, more subtle consequences such as anger and impatience can also prove challenging in a professional environment. Teamwork and cooperation play an essential role in business success, so when short tempers flare, relationships between colleagues become strained. 84% of people feel more irritable as a result of poor sleep [3], and with a volatile work atmosphere, staff members can become disengaged and negative, which contribute to poor team culture and low morale.

Inadequate sleep also kills more than 3,000 Australians each year [4] due to workplace and road accidents, and the total cost of work-related injuries and fatalities as a result of poor sleep is estimated at $2.25 billion [5] per year. These risks of fatigue are more prominent in businesses where shifts are common or employees are on call, such as factories, constructions sites and hospitals. In these industries, fatigue-related errors could have serious consequences for not only the workers but others around them.

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Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline marks first anniversary

Published in The Music Network 6th August, 2019.

Support Act Ltd’s Wellbeing Helpline celebrates its first year of operation – and with some encouraging statistics. The free, confidential phone counselling service has been used by 150 artists, road crew and music workers from all genres to talk about any aspect of their mental health or wellbeing.

“We are very happy with the take up rate, and the feedback from service users has been extremely positive,” said Clive Miller, Sydney-based CEO of Support Act. “Having a dedicated helpline that is staffed by friendly, qualified clinicians who understand the challenges of working in the music industry can be an enormous help to someone who is struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal feelings; or issues which can be mental health related such as loneliness, relationship breakdown, financial worries, illness and workplace conflict.”

The Helpline is implemented by AccessEAP.

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Defusing challenging behaviours in the education industry

Published in the Education Review 1st August, 2019.

Educators play a vital role in the community and we collectively need to support them so they can do their job. Learning the skills to respond to emotionally charged situations is crucial for today’s teachers. To tackle this, AccessEAP has designed training programs for frontline employees who may face situations where they could potentially be at risk of physical or psychological harm, to learn skills to know how to respond. 

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Our Continued Support of the H.O.P.E. Program

H.O.P.E. continues to be the main recipient of our charitable funding for vulnerable families and children. At AccessEAP we are very proud of the donation of more than $500,000 for HOPE and programs to support vulnerable families, which was announced last month. Our contribution has been able to grow substantially each year and AccessEAP would like to recognise the support of our customers in making this donation. Through partnering with AccessEAP, you not only support your employees’ wellbeing but you also directly contribute to our chosen welfare programs in Australia.

  

We are pleased and proud to report that over the past 12 months the H.O.P.E. Program continued to exceed targets and these are very special targets because they are about helping more mums and bubs. 

  

 

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Boost Your Creativity

Idle scribbling is just one way that creativity can help boost workplace performance. Encouraging creativity has a number of beneficial effects that can drive positive change in workplaces. For example, a simple exercise like thinking of different uses for an object, can encourage a mindset that will help you to think of new ways to approach and improve processes and outdated practices. Moving from ‘this is how it’s always been’, to ‘this is how it could be better’.”

Scribbling, doodling and colouring focuses the mind without being cognitively taxing, which allows the brain to be present and in the now. This gives our brains a break, as when our thoughts are racing, or we’re given to much stimulus to process, we may struggle to think clearly and absorb information. As such, mindful doodling can help with concentration, decision making and overall mental health.

Another way to boost creativity is with writing. Check out the Forbes' article How To Write Your Way To Wellbeing. Which explains the below three ways you can use writing to increase your wellbeing.

  1. Write morning pages
  2. Tap into your artist's brain
  3. Always carry around a notebook and pen
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Mental Health Awareness - October 2019

The theme for this year's Mental Health Month is Share the Journey. Share the Journey means – telling your friends and family when things are a bit tough – finding others who have been through something similar – connecting with your community – finding a health professional you trust – connecting on social media – giving your pet a cuddle – organisations working together for the best possible wellbeing of everyone – sharing your stories with others – creating a sense of security within families and communities – reaching out to someone who might need your help - decreasing the isolation people feel when things aren’t great.
 
This awareness month encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have a lived experience of mental illness or not. This month also gives us the opportunity to understand the importance of mental health in our everyday lives and encourages help seeking behaviours when needed.
  
Depending on your location Mental Health Awareness may be marked by a day, week or month.
Mental Health Day,10th October is also a worthwhile day to recognise within Mental Health Month. Some great resources including the Promise Wall can be found at https://1010.org.au/promise-wall/
 
Australian Capital Territory October: https://www.mentalhealthmonthact.org/calendar
Western Australia 6-12th October https://mhw.waamh.org.au/
 
For more information on Mental Health Month or to arrange a Mental Health Awareness Training, please speak to your Relationship Manager.
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Get moving this August

This August, Guide Dogs Australia is challenging you and your dog to walk 30 minutes a day for 30 days (that’s roughly 2km every day!), which is no small feat in winter weather! For more information visit the Guide Dogs Australia website.

If dog walking is not for you, there are so many ways to get active and boost your health this August with get healthy!!

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Ride a bike instead of taking the bus.
  • Sit less - walk & talk while you’re on the phone.
  • Think of ways you can slip incidental exercises into your day!

For even more tips on boosting your health, see our latest post, 7 tips- A Healthy Body Boosts a Healthy Mind.

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Tips for Dealing with Worry and Anxiety

Watch your thinking

Beware of “What ifs” and a tendency to assume the worst in your mind. This is called catastrophic thinking.

For example, a simple negative comment about one aspect of your work could trigger.. “What if my manager is not happy with me… I am performance managed…. I lose my job… I can’t pay the mortgage….” This leads to a lot of unnecessary fear and anxiety.

Watch your body

Anxiety tends to impact everyone’s body differently. Do you get an upset stomach, a tense neck? Other signs of stress and anxiety?

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Decluttering: A Mindful Moment or Wellness Fad?

For me wellness means doings things that promote health and contentment and help me to manage stress, such as spending quality time on the golf course or taking a yoga class. As well as these activities, I’m aware that there is an overwhelming amount of wellness options that may be beneficial to me, however, it is becoming harder to distinguish which practices will increase my wellbeing and which are just passing fads.

Right now, one of the hot topics in wellness practice is de-cluttering, popularised by Oprah Winfrey's introduction of Australian, Peter Walsh to the world and more recently Marie Kondo. We are witness to people describing how tidying their homes, has changed their lives. This does make me question, is decluttering actually good for our health?

There is some evidence that clutter in the home is detrimental for our physical and mental health. In particular, clutter has been linked to stress which in turn can have many other health impacts. It certainly can be stressful if you can’t locate your laptop, due to clutter, and your meeting starts in an hour. Clutter has also been found to drain our cognitive resources due to visual distraction, to impact our food choices, and to be associated with sleep disturbance.

Decluttering is most useful if it is a problem for you and leads you to feel uncomfortable and chaotic. If it does make you feel this way, it may be a symptom of other things going on in your life. It’s important to uncover and address these. Depression can lead to a lack of motivation to “tidy up” and a sense of not caring about yourself or your environment, grief can result in holding on to things for sentimental value or for fear of what “moving on” may entail.

If decluttering resonates with you, where should you start? With the overwhelming nature of the task, it helps to set small achievable goals. Setting out to tidy your entire home all at once may be unrealistic and feel overwhelming. Successfully tidying a small section of a room will help increase your self-efficacy and promote future success.

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R U OK? Day 2019

 

 

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation set up to prevent suicide by encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask 'are you ok?'. R U OK? Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September each year (12th September 2019), dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family, friends and colleagues. Their vision is a world where we're all connected and are protected from suicide.

This R U OK? Day, AccessEAP would like to partner with you to put your People in Focus and ensure we connect with as many people as possible. We have developed a variety of options to spread the important message of R U OK?

 To book in any of these options contact your Relationship Manager today.
Why Wait? Our R U OK? Day Recorded Webinar is Available September 1st!

Every day should be R U OK? Day. With this Recorded Webinar, you can decide when you would like to share this important message throughout September.

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Making Mindfulness Easier, a Mental Health App Review

To help Make Mindfulness Easier, our Clinical Team at AccessEAP has created a Mental Health App Review. For the full App Review, click here.

Calm Mind – Recommended (any audience)

This app focuses on four major categories of wellbeing:

  1. Wake/Sleep  2. Relax  3. Meditate  4. Breathing

The app and some of its basic features are free, however, the user has to pay for additional content.

Headspace – Highly Recommended (younger audience)

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Embracing emotion is key to leading a healthy workplace

Published in the Australian Design Review 27th June, 2019.

“Emotions and vulnerability are part of who we are and that doesn’t just go away when we enter the workplace,” explains Marcela Slepica, clinical director, Access EAP. “Opening up to colleagues and letting them know when I was feeling vulnerable, allowed me to make real connections, gain support and feel better sooner. Leaders should show compassion and support workers to do the same, simply put, leaders need to lead by example.”

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Customer Participation

We are making some changes to our website and we'd love to improve your experience with us.

Is there something we can add to the website to help you find the information you are after? Something we can make clearer? Something you wanted to learn about that you did not easily find on our website?

Let us know by sending us a quick email here. We value and appreciate your feedback!

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Food and Mood Webinar this July!

There is a growing body of evidence to demonstrate that the food we eat affects our mental health and plays a significant role in our overall wellbeing. For example, dietary changes have been successfully trialed in the treatment of clinical depression. The Food and Mood webinar aims to provide a taster session on how food choices impact on brain function and mood, and provides practical tips to develop healthy eating habits at home and at work, for optimal health.

Join us for the Food and Mood Webinar on Thursday, 25 July 2019 at 11AM AEST. Enquire with your Relationship Manager today!

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Let's talk R U OK? Day Training

September may seem like it is so far away but R U OK? Day will be here before you know it. To ensure that you have the most impactful R U OK? Day, speak to your Relationship Manager this July to discuss how we can assist you on the day.

R U OK? Day is a very popular day for onsite training so make sure you book in early!

See our CEO Article from last September, R U OK? Day, the real impact.

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Stress Less this July

Stress Down Day is Lifeline’s annual fundraising campaign held on Wednesday 24th July. People are encouraged to participate in (a) stress reducing, fun activities such as wearing slippers to work or school, or dressing up or down, and then making a donation to Lifeline. It’s easy to get involved and all funds raised support Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis support service. For more information, check out the Lifeline Website.

Stress is almost inevitable in today’s world but here are some helpful hints and tips to manage your response to stress and achieve more balance in your life.

  1. Get moving!

It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but exercise is one of the best things to do to improve your mood and reduce stress. The trick is to find what suits your lifestyle and daily routine. Gentle repetitive exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga are great when it comes to relieving stress.

Hobbies that focus attention onto other things are also good stress relievers. Take up a new activity unrelated to current work or personal commitments - activities that give a sense of achievement and satisfaction are best. Set aside time each day to fit in a stress relieving activity, this should become a priority in your life not just an optional extra.

  1. Identify your stressors

Identify the causes of stress. More than one in five Australians reported mental health issues as a source of stress. These stressors related to both external and internal factors including workplace pressures, family issues and problems related to personal finance. Once you have identified the triggers, you will find they are much easier to manage.

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indig_flags.jpg

AccessEAP acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we work on and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples using this content are advised that it may contain images, names or voices of people who have passed away
.

indig_flags.jpg

AccessEAP acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we work on and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples using this content are advised that it may contain images, names or voices of people who have passed away.