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Be kind to your mind - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

World Mental Health Day is this October 10th, and the 2021 theme is “Look Up, Look Out & Look Forward"

This year, of course, we have had the stress of COVID and the uncertainty created by lockdowns as a background to all the usual ups and downs of living, along with reading and seeing the regular reports of world events. I certainly need time out for me in the midst of all of this so I can recharge my mental and physical batteries to remain an effective, empathetic leader and a support to my friends and family.

But how do we take time out when we feel so many demands on our time? There are little things we can do every day – and those little things can add up to feeling and being healthier and more resilient in mind and body.

Keeping a routine comes top of my list. Things like going to bed and getting up at around the same time every day helps establish good sleep. Making time for exercise, catching up with friends - FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, calls, texts (or face-to-face if possible) - and doing things that are just plain fun are important for all of us so we can move away from constantly doing and thinking about work or worrying about things we can’t change.

On the topic of having fun, putting together a feel-good toolkit is a great investment in feeding your wellbeing. When you’re in need, you can go to your feel-good toolkit for an emotional lift. It might contain a list of your favourite comforting music, a soft cushion to lie on, a chocolate treat, essential oils, an inspirational book, or a list of quotes. We can be creative about how we can help ourselves feel good. Along the same lines, we can look for the good. It’s important to counterbalance the heavy information with the hopeful. There’s still so much good and beauty in the world if we choose to pay attention to it. And try forgiving others and accepting yourself. I know it’s easier said than done. But acknowledging many people are on edge at the moment, for similar reasons that you may also be feeling on edge, can help us find the ability to move on when in the past we might have reacted. Similarly, acknowledging the stresses we are living with can help us find self-acceptance and self-forgiveness when we act in ways we later regret.

When checking in on those around us, there are certain signs to watch out for and things you can do if you notice a change, see our Mental Health Awareness Wellbeing Tool which explains this further. It's important that we look after and be kind to ourselves and others after such a long year.

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Mental Health Awareness - Wellbeing Tool

As a part of our Wellbeing in Focus Calendar Care theme, we released a Mental Health Awareness Tool that we think is even more important this World Mental Health Day.

Like our physical health, there are signs that we are not emotionally 100%, and we can observe those signs in friends and colleagues. When we feel some of the symptoms of poor mental health, the earlier we intervene, the better our recovery.

Download the below Wellbeing Tool for:

  • Signs to look out for
  • What to do when you notice these changes
  • & How to help others

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Look Up, Look Out & Look Forward!

1 in 5 of us experience a mental health issue every year. Mental Health Awareness across October is an opportunity for us to advocate for and raise awareness of mental health. With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting the lives of our communities, we need to continue to give mental health the focus and attention it deserves.

Organisations that create and harbour a culture of understanding, empathy and trust allow people to be open about the issues impacting their lives. And it is especially important for people with mental health conditions to feel safe and comfortable in discussing their experience and obtaining appropriate support. Please contact your Relationship Manager to discuss what Mental Health Awareness options we have to support you and your people.

World Mental Health Day is on the 10th of October, check out their website for some great resources. Depending on your location, Mental Health Awareness may be marked by a week or a month. Click here to find out more.

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c19 7.10.21

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Mental Health & Wellbeing Professional - Brisbane Based

  • Varied and rewarding opportunity
  • Professional Development and Supervision provided
  • Flexible working arrangements 

AccessEAP partners with organisations to promote positive organisational behaviour, enhance employee well-being and improve workplace productivity. As an Australian owned, Profit for Purpose  Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider our success is based on understanding the unique needs of clients and tailoring services to support and prevent mental health issues in the workplace. Due to continued growth we need a passionate and committed clinical professional to help ensure the provision of best practice counselling and ancillary services that meet or exceed customer and client expectations

Your role will be to develop strong relationships with key customers to understand their needs and work on tailored solutions to solve specific or complex people issues.  You will provide a range of clinical services including: Face to Face, telephone and emergency counselling, mediation, manager support, critical incident response, EAP briefings and webinars. Additionally, you will work with the broader team to provide other services such as coaching, reflective supervision and leadership training.

With a degree in Psychology or Social Work and professionally registered your track record of success will reflect your impartial and insightful thinking capabilities and solid understanding of organisational and individual factors impacting on people performance.  You will be adept at engaging with a broad range of people, comfortable working autonomously, and respond well under pressure to balance priorities.

Your key skills will include your rapport building, analysis, judgment and outstanding interpersonal skills. Most importantly you will enjoy working in a team environment that is driven by respect, collaboration and accomplishment. AccessEAP takes the health of employees seriously and you will be working in an environment that genuinely cares about the wellbeing of all employees.

For more information call David Williams on 0414551795 or to apply send your resume to dwilliams@kurtispaige.com.au

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Mental Health & Wellbeing Professional - Sydney Based

  • Varied and rewarding opportunity
  • Professional Development and Supervision provided
  • Flexible working arrangements 

AccessEAP partners with organisations to promote positive organisational behaviour, enhance employee well-being and improve workplace productivity. As an Australian owned, Profit for Purpose  Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider our success is based on understanding the unique needs of clients and tailoring services to support and prevent mental health issues in the workplace. Due to continued growth we need a passionate and committed clinical professional to help ensure the provision of best practice counselling and ancillary services that meet or exceed customer and client expectations

Your role will be to develop strong relationships with key customers to understand their needs and work on tailored solutions to solve specific or complex people issues.  You will provide a range of clinical services including: Face to Face, telephone and emergency counselling, mediation, manager support, critical incident response, EAP briefings and webinars. Additionally, you will work with the broader team to provide other services such as coaching, reflective supervision and leadership training.

With a degree in Psychology or Social Work and professionally registered your track record of success will reflect your impartial and insightful thinking capabilities and solid understanding of organisational and individual factors impacting on people performance.  You will be adept at engaging with a broad range of people, comfortable working autonomously, and respond well under pressure to balance priorities.

Your key skills will include your rapport building, analysis, judgment and outstanding interpersonal skills. Most importantly you will enjoy working in a team environment that is driven by respect, collaboration and accomplishment. AccessEAP takes the health of employees seriously and you will be working in an environment that genuinely cares about the wellbeing of all employees.

For more information call David Williams on 0414551795 or to apply send your resume to dwilliams@kurtispaige.com.au

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C19 16.9.21

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Positive approaches to wellbeing

One of the things we’ve found ourselves talking about a lot more recently is positive wellbeing and wellness. We’re actively sharing the things that bring us joy – and for us, that means lots of sharing photos of pets, wellbeing tactics that we’ve found valuable and our old or new creative hobbies.

We are all looking for new ways to not only genuinely support our people but to help them to thrive. We're turning our spotlight to looking outside the box to different ways to positively approach wellbeing. We’re talking about the positive power of creativity and the creative process! We've created tools on fostering creativity for thriving teams as well as a Postcard on Creativity for Wellbeing. Find our wide range of Leader Tools and Personal Tools, in the Employer and Employee Login Areas of our website. 

The above postcard can be found in COVID-19 Support under AccessEAP Wellbeing Postcards in the Employer and Employee Login Areas.

Encouraging creativity has a number of beneficial effects on employees that can drive positive change in workplaces. If you have any questions or require support on how to approach this, reach out to us here at AccessEAP on 1800 818 728. As always, our people are here to help support you and your people be their best in life and work.

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C19 2.9.21

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R U OK?, Building Connection - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

At the heart of what we do at AccessEAP is caring for others’ wellbeing – particularly their emotional health. For all of us directly affected by the lockdowns around Australia – and that’s now most of us – our emotional wellbeing is probably being tested. For example, many of us are missing physical touch – when was the last time you hugged a friend? I miss the regular face-to-face catch-ups with friends and family that, up until COVID, was a very regular part of my life. And most of us are now regularly seeing our work colleagues on a computer screen, rather than in person.

R U OK? Day on Thursday 9th September is a very timely reminder of the vital importance of checking in with each other – especially in these times of separation. R U OK? Day was founded by Gavin Larkin as a response to the suicide of his father. Gavin was determined to try to help others. He championed the fact that a conversation, starting with “are you OK?” can change a life – perhaps save a life. Out of that was born an extraordinary Australian organisation whose mission is to inspire and empower people to meaningfully connect with those in their world and lend support when they are struggling.

R U OK? Day creates an opportunity for us all to start a dialogue about mental health, to create an environment of acceptance, and to normalise asking for help. At work, Managers play a vital role in the culture of their workplaces. The most direct way to encourage discussion is through talking and encouraging others to talk, especially about what might be uncomfortable topics for some – such as their mental health. This is particularly relevant during these times of lockdown when it is hard for everyone and where we may feel fatigued and unsure of how we can help others.  Leaders can empower their employees and facilitate a culture where it is normal to talk about how you feel and for others to actively listen without trying to ‘fix’ anyone. R U OK? Day is an opportunity to discuss the importance of learning the steps and skills on how to have the conversation.  Lots of great guidance can be found on their website.

Our emotions are our friends. They tell us how our inner world is going. Learning to listen patiently to our emotions, to hear what they are telling us, and then acting in a way that adds to our wellbeing, is a skill learnt over the course of a lifetime. Talking with others about how we feel can help clarify what we need to do to take good care of ourselves. Having someone ask you, genuinely, “are you OK?” and then them waiting quietly for what you have to say, might be the difference between you feeling confused and lonely or feeling there is hope and a way forward. When we as leaders are experiencing similar challenges as our employees and also feel responsible for our employees’ wellbeing, it is important to remind yourself that checking in and connecting with others is just as valuable and powerful for yourself. It’s okay to not have all the answers and to reach out for support when you need it.

 

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Mental Health in October 2021

The theme for this year's Mental Health Month is Tune In.
  • Tune in to yourself – What can you sense right now? What can you feel?
  • Tune in to others – What might people around you be feeling? How can we connect?
  • Tune in to your communities – What is happening that you can be part of, or that you can help others be part of?
  • Tune in to stigma – How do attitudes and understandings of mental health and wellbeing impact on people’s ability to live the lives they want? How can we help?

See more information here.

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 can be found on their website.
 
 
 
For more information on Mental Health Month or to arrange a Mental Health Awareness Training, please speak to your Relationship Manager.
 
To arrange an appointment, contact us on 1800 818 728.
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Women's Health Week 2021

#WomensHealthWeek 6-10 September 2021

With the stress COVID has placed on everyone's lives, it’s now more important than ever to look after your overall health and wellbeing. This September, Women’s Health Week will be a great reminder to take time out to check in on your health and to keep making positive changes that can last a lifetime.

For more information and free resources visit the Jean Hailes' Women's Health Week Website. It's time to put your health first.

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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Reach out this R U OK? Day

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

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.

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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R U OK? Day, Feat. Additional Parent Resources

It’s really timely that we are coming up to a series of wellbeing and wellness events. Women’s Health Week is at the start of September, along with R U OK? Day and then into October for the various states and territories’ Mental Health Week or Month. We can all do with a little bit of extra wellbeing support right now! What we’re hearing is a general sense of people doing their best to get by – and that’s the best any of us can do! What we’re really encouraged by is many of us have made R U OK? an everyday thing through the pandemic.

When we talk about Women’s Health Week, we often focus on prioritising and making time to look after ourselves. In a pandemic, this can be difficult as there are often many demands on parents, employees and caregivers (and these are just some of the roles that women play). Right now, parents of Year 12 students are experiencing the stressful trial exam period in the lead up to their final exams and the end of 13 years of schooling. These are emotional milestones and are being experienced under very difficult conditions for students across Australia and New Zealand.

The pandemic has highlighted to many people the need for everyone to maintain their wellbeing and connect with others. We're turning our spotlight to building on R U OK? Day in ways that support wellbeing for all of your people. We've created tools to help keep the R U OK momentum going as well as added a postcard to the new Parents tile in the Employer Login Area. Find our wide range of Leader Tools and Personal Tools, in the Employer and Employee Login Areas of our website.  

Reach out to us here at AccessEAP on 1800 818 728. As always, our people are here to help support you and your people be their best in life and work.

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c19 20.8.21

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Communication, keep it clear and simple

The ever-changing situation we face as leaders, be it lockdowns, a lack of clear timelines or increased restrictions, impacts all of us. We often talk about great leaders being forged, a process of transformation which hardens and strengthens. Is this a leadership approach that holds true anymore? What do our people and teams need? A leader who gets stronger and harder through the ongoing pressures of the pandemic? Or a leader who embraces their own humanity and acknowledges that it’s ok not to be ok and ask questions and listens to help find a way forward together? 

Throughout the pandemic, we have often found that if there is one thing we need to get right, it’s communication. Clear is kind, concise is kind. Clear, simple messages are often more appreciated as there is enough complexity and uncertainty in people’s lives. Mixed or conflicting messages can cause confusion through to distrust.

We've created Personal and Leader Tools that reinforce the importance of knowing your people and how they like to receive information and being clear and concise with messaging. The Leader Tool focuses on making sure you continue to be brave and have the important conversations that need to be had. Find our wide range of Leader Tools and Personal Tools, in the Employer and Employee Login Areas of our website.  

Depending on the type of work we do, we may be spending 50-70% of our time in conversation with colleagues, customers, stakeholders and suppliers. It’s easy to forget what we know is best practice when we are stressed, anxious or tired. Reach out to us here at AccessEAP on 1800 818 728. As always, our people are here to help support you and your people be their best in life and work.

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C19 -5.8.21

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Wellbeing Tips via AccessEAP LinkedIn

At AccessEAP we're here to make it easier for you and your people to access support. Along with our website and AccessMyEAP App, we post frequently on our AccessEAP LinkedIn Page. We will keep posting so you can have resources to share on your organisation's LinkedIn or intranet.

Follow us for tips on keeping mentally healthy, supporting your people, self-care and more. You may even see some AccessEAP pets who are a part of the AccessEAP extended family! 

  Follow the AccessEAP LinkedIn Page here.

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Constructive conversations in times of stress - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP

I want to start by acknowledging the effect of the lockdowns and increased restrictions on us all. AccessEAP are here to support you and help you face each challenge. This month we are focusing on Constructive Conversations because we know that communication and connection are so very important for our overall wellbeing.   

Conflict happens in the most harmonious of working environments. I think we have a great culture at AccessEAP, but conflict still occurs. So it’s not about avoiding conflict, which can create an ‘elephant in the room’ situation - it’s about enabling it to happen in a constructive way. One of my favourite authors, Patrick Lencioni, talks about fear of conflict in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Great relationships require “productive conflict in order to grow”1. By engaging in productive conflict at AccessEAP, it helps the Executive Leadership Team discuss and resolve issues more competently without any resentful feelings.

Psychological Safety is something we aim for at AccessEAP. The Center for Creative Leadership defines it as “the belief that you won’t be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.” As a leader, I aim to nurture an understanding we are here not just to be responsible for our roles but to contribute without fear in a way that gives voice to our care about the organisation, the work we do, and our own and others’ wellbeing. It’s about speaking up. I think of teachers who say when inviting questions, “there’s no such thing as a silly question.” That’s creating psychological safety.

When I am in a conversation where conflict might occur or is occurring, I remember the importance of creating safety. I listen carefully to what undercurrents are happening – I try to hear who is feeling hurt, or unheard, angry or scared. Is there someone who hasn’t voiced their opinion yet and they need some encouragement? As a Leader, I encourage those I work with to respectfully and truthfully say what is going on for them to help avoid misunderstandings.

If something that happened in the past needs addressing, the Center for Creative Leadership has a model for structuring a constructive conversation.

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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
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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.