Visitors are permitted at Austin Health sites with some restrictions. Find out more about our visitor restrictions.
30 March 2020
Our Mental Health team is the latest department to roll out Wellness Trolleys to support staff as they continue to deal with the challenges dealt by COVID.
Emma Barker, Director of Mental Health Nursing, successfully applied for a grant from the Department of Health to provide support to eight areas in the Mental Health Department via the use of Wellness Trolleys.
”The Mental Health staff have played a vital role in keeping the community safe during the COVID pandemic, with a significant increase in the number of mental health presentations and in the acuity of consumers,” Emma said.
“And, like so many other areas, we have had our usual work practices disrupted with staff having to wear additional PPE as well as working longer hours and more often due to colleagues being furloughed.
“We hope the Wellness Trolleys will help support the physical and mental wellbeing of our staff, and have a positive impact on morale by acting as a visual and ongoing recognition that shows we recognise how tough it’s been,” she said.
Hannah Bloom, Divisional Director Mental Health, said the trolleys are stocked with nutritious snacks such as fruit and muesli bars, healthy energy snacks, drinks (coffee machines, soda steams) as well as some treats – lollies, nut, and biscuits.
“We want to thank our staff for their incredible work and the dedication they have displayed during the pandemic, and continue to display in 2022,” Hannah said.
“There’s no doubt many have carried a heavy personal burden during the crisis and the wellness trolleys also included some calming, sensory items to support their mental wellbeing and allow them to take a quick time out through mindful relaxation or just enjoying some music,” she said.
“We also found ways to support some of the smaller services within the division that have also worked above and beyond usual practice by providing them with wellness hampers as a sign of recognition and thanks.
“I’m so very proud of the tenacity and resilience the mental health workforce continues to show as they provide great clinical care to our most vulnerable consumers,” Hannah said.