Self-care in the festive season

As we reach the end of 2021 there has been an increase in cases in some parts of Australia. We appreciate that for many people this may be a time of heightened emotions, particularly as festive celebrations commence and for some, plans will need to change. We, as always, are here to support you through this. Tools and resources can be accessed via our website to support your mental health and wellbeing through the Employee and Employer login areas. Additional resources, including our Wellbeing Check, are also available on our app, AccessMyEAP.

It is important to remember that feeling anxious, fearful, stressed, angry or irritable are common and normal feelings during uncertain times like these. It is important to monitor your own physical and mental health during these times. Download our Self-care and Managing Stress Postcard for signs to watch out for and self-care strategies. 

If you do need support, reach out to us here at Newport & Wildman on 1800 650 204. As always, our people are here to help support you and your people be their best in life and work.

Newport Wildman Wellbeing Postcard Self Care COVID 19 2

 

 

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Respectful Connection - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

We all want to belong, and our workplaces can offer a safe place to carry out meaningful work with people we trust. This sense of belonging has been challenged over the past couple of years with the steps to combat COVID of social distancing and lockdowns.  A sense of social isolation has been felt by many. And now lockdowns are ending, and with high vaccination rates, we are starting to see each other again, in real life.

As we start mixing once more, it’s important to keep in mind that lockdown has affected us all in different ways – everyone is different. For some, it has been incredibly hard, as they battled loneliness and isolation, or perhaps found it hard to juggle the demands of home-schooling, family and work expectations without the break of getting out of the house or going to the office. For others, they happily worked from home. As we reconnect, reaching out in a way that is appropriate to the person’s needs requires a good dose of empathy and listening.

Empathy and listening underpin all healthy workplace cultures and help create a psychologically safe workplace. Being aware and accepting the diversity of opinions, attitudes, and backgrounds helps us become more nuanced in the ways we reach out and interact with others.

I believe inclusion and diversity in a workplace is vital for engagement. Just like in the natural environment, a monoculture of thinking and viewpoints is not healthy or sustainable. The following definition resonates with me: “the difference between diversity and inclusion is that diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance”. Diversity in the workplace refers to a workforce that’s made up of people from different ages, cultural backgrounds, geographies, physical abilities and disabilities, religions, genders, sexual orientations. And this diversity brings together people with differing perspectives and thinking styles, preferences and characteristics. Inclusion is the procedures organisations implement to allow differences to coexist in a mutually beneficial way so that employees feel accepted and comfortable, ready to share their opinions and thoughts.

I need my ideas to be challenged and my thinking to be tested by talking with others with differing viewpoints who look at the world in a way that is different from my own. It’s the way I keep my thinking fresh and creative and how I become a better leader. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace help this to happen. Walking the Talk is what makes people believe that an organisation is serious about inclusion. 

As we start to come together again in the workplace, keep in mind the richness in the diversity of those around you – that we all want to be seen, heard and understood. With careful listening and empathy, we can appreciate people’s diversity of experience and backgrounds and encourage creative ideas which can benefit our businesses. This can be our own personal inclusion process as we enjoy the ‘dance’ with our workplace colleagues once more.

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

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At Newport & Wildman, we wish you all the best for the Festive Season. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you and look forward to a brighter 2022.

We would like to thank you for continuing your partnership with us. Through supporting your people through this challenging year, you have helped make the lives of more than just your people a little easier. Please share with us in celebrating the success of the H.O.P.E. Program, supporting vulnerable children & families. Click here to see our latest update!

Please be assured our counselling and onsite services are available 24/7, 365 days a year however, our other business functions observe the Australian public holidays and a short break from 25th December to 7th January 2022.

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Fulfilling our social purpose - supporting the H.O.P.E. Program

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. See below the latest update from AccessEAP about fulfilling our social purpose.

The H.O.P.E. Program 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 $1,000,000 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.

Renee's Story

"My name is Renee, I'm 24 years old and I’m a single mum to my baby boy Rory. The H.O.P.E. program has been so wonderful for me. It has given me such great support and has helped me to be a better mum to Rory. They set me up in a house to help me get on my feet, helped me with budgeting, food planning and set me and my mum up with counselling to help our relationship."

Read more about the H.O.P.E Program and Renee's story here.

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

HOPE infographic

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Men's Health - Reach out

November is a big month for Men's Health, with Movember spanning across the whole month and International Men's Day on the 19th. Both initiatives are all about promoting men's health and wellbeing, encouraging men to get the support they need. One of the biggest challenges for many men in Australia is opening up and having better conversations that can help with health and wellbeing. It’s about looking after the body and mind and knowing who to talk to that will be able to listen and understand.  

The great thing about having a chat is that we can get it out of our head and find ways to deal with what’s stressing us. Having that conversation early on can mean that we deal with something in the moment and stop it from escalating into something bigger. We all need to recognise what is going on in our lives so we can work out how to best deal with our stresses, emotions or worries. Just as a football coach would help develop a footballer’s skills on the field, Newport & Wildman can help coach you to develop your own coping strategies, ways of thinking and how to work through tough times. These are life skills that can be learned and used when needed.

Here are some tips to help men reach out in times of need:

  • Take action sooner rather than later. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today when it comes to your mental health.
  • Just having a conversation is positive for your mental health. It is not a sign of weakness.
  • Maintain social contactkeep in touch with family and friends. Try a new sport, activity with others which is good for physical health and social connection. Sporting clubs are often just meeting places where playing the sport is a bonus.
  • Make looking after yourself a priority. Set goals for sleep, exercise and time out, whether that be fishing, football, reading. You can’t look after those around you if you can’t look after yourself.
  • Remember that the best health can be achieved by looking after both your physical and mental health. See your GP for regular check-ups and address health issues if and when they present.
  • Ask for help. Challenging life events happen to us all at some point; no one is immune. Has your loved one or partner suggested you get some help? They may have noticed you are not yourself. Listen to them, call or email us or connect via AccessChat.  Equipping yourself with the tools and strategies you need to cope with life’s events can be learned. Start with your EAP and a confidential appointment to start kitting up.

For more information or to book an appointment, call us on 1800 650 204 or visit our website, www.newportwildman.com.au.

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Men's Health, breaking the stigma - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

This is the month of Movember – named because men around Australia are encouraged to grow moustaches to draw awareness to and raise funds for men’s mental health, suicide prevention, as well as their physical health. Over the years Movember has become a leading charity helping to change the approach to men’s wellbeing. Their aim is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.

Awareness around Men’s health needs improvement. In Australia, men under 75 are twice as likely as women to die from preventable causes (Falster & Jorm, 2017), and in 2019 men accounted for more than 75% of all suicide deaths (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020). At AccessEAP and Newport & Wildman, we have over many years cultivated a culture of acceptance, openness and welcoming of vulnerability for all our staff, and, in this month of November, I am proud to see this reflected in the attitudes and interactions I observe in the men who work here. We are aware that there is much still to be done to encourage men in organisations we work with to reach out for assistance, especially mental health support.

How can you help the men you work or live with to focus on their wellbeing? Positive Psychology has some answers. You can encourage all staff to complete the free PERMAH survey. This will result in your people receiving a set of results that highlight their strengths. Research supports that working with our strengths, rather than focusing on improving weaknesses, can be a an effective way to improve wellbeing and effectiveness. And at an organisational level, we can help you work with the PERMAH results. Also effective is encouraging and having conversations around mental health and wellbeing, particularly men’s wellbeing during November. Leading by example, leaders who are more open about their feelings and who don’t need to always be seen to have the answers, or be right, are seen as authentic and encourages others to be more open.  

As I consider, our culture at AccessEAP and Newport & Wildman, I see every day the benefits for all staff of bringing a strengths-based approach to work and life. I also see how a culture of inclusivity of diversity enriches our workplace in so many ways. It helps us all think more broadly, more creatively, and act more compassionately. It helps us challenge assumptions, include differences of opinion, and highlights our value proposition of “making a difference”.  

I am proud to be a part of this organisation and proud of the work we do to support your people to be the best they can be in life and work. For more information and tips to help men reach out in times of need, click here.

Sally Kirkright, AccessEAP CEO

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Raise Awareness

Domestic Violence and Family Awareness

We're here to help

Supporting your organisation to respond to
Domestic and Family Violence during the pandemic

25th November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with White Ribbon Day being observed on Friday, 19th November.

At Newport & Wildman, we strongly support these awareness days, particularly with the severity and frequency of domestic violence reported increasing as a result of the pandemic. Often the workplace is known to provide a safe place for victims of domestic and family violence. Working from home and other restrictions has increased isolation and the natural circuit breaker that leaving the home provides for both victim and perpetrator. Organisations have a vital role to play by raising awareness of this issue, understanding when and how to offer support, and addressing attitudes in the workplace, which perpetuate violence against women.

How we can support you

At Newport & Wildman, we are sensitive to the complexities of Domestic and Family Violence and encourage you to reach out for support especially at this difficult time given the unique pressures created by the pandemic.

Psychological Counselling and 1-1 Support
We have a team of counsellors who are experienced in Domestic and Family Violence support and are available for one to one, in-person, telephone or video counselling 24/7.
Contact us on 1800 650 204

Access the Employer and Employee Login Areas of our website to access COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Tools.

Live Zoom Training and Webinars
Please contact Newport & Wildman so we can connect you with our Clinical and Organisational Development Teams.

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Southern Tasmania Lockdown - Support for your people

As you are probably aware, Southern Tasmania is going into lockdown from 6pm Friday 15 October. The lockdown will last for 3 days. As a result of this notice, we have already implemented our business continuity plan to ensure we continue to provide support for our customers and their people.

Face to face appointments in the region will be rescheduled and alternative arrangements will be provided. Telephone or Video Chat Counselling options are still available. Critical incidents and onsite support will be assessed based on an individual basis to determine the best mode of support. 

We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the impact that organisations and people may be experiencing after today’s announcement. We appreciate that for many people this may be a time of heightened emotions and that plans will need to change. We, as always, are here to support you through this. Tools and resources can be accessed via our website to support your mental health and wellbeing through the Employee and Employer login areas. Additional resources, including our Wellbeing Check, are also available on our app, AccessMyEAP.

Reach out to us here at Newport & Wildman on 1800 650 204. As always, our people are here to help support you and your people be their best in life and work.

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Awareness, Belonging, Connection

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 the Newport & Wildman Team to discuss what Mental Health Awareness options we have to support you and your people.

Tasmania's Mental Health Week is 9-16th October Awareness, Belonging, Connection, check out their website for some great resources that will help open up the conversation so it continues beyond Mental Health Week.

MHW

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

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.
Mental Health Week is October 9th-16th, and the 2021 theme is ‘Awareness, Belonging, Connection’.

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.

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

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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.

3. Explain why you are having this discussion with them

Be clear that you are concerned about the person and give specific examples of the observed behaviour change that sparked your concern. For example: "you are usually the first one at work and never take a sick day, however, I have noticed that over the past few weeks you have been arriving at work late and have had a few sick days."

4. R U OK?

Ask the question clearly and directly.

5. Listen

Listen to what the person is saying and also listen for how they are feeling. Do not interrupt, just listen and at the end summarise what you have heard to check that your understanding is correct.

6. Do not go into solution mode

It is not your responsibility to "fix" the problem or "save" your colleague – giving solutions can make the situation much worse.

7. Do not counsel the person

You are not a counsellor or psychologist and should not try to be that for the person.

8. Encourage the person to take action

Point the person in the right direction i.e. HR, EAP and/or their GP. You may have to support the person to seek help by going with them to HR, or making an appointment for them with the EAP or their GP and possibly accompanying them to the appointment if possible.

9. Ask what way you can assist

Allow the person the opportunity to explain what would be helpful for them.

10. Follow up

Don’t just leave it there, it is very important to check in with the person regularly to see if they are OK.

For further information about R U OK? visit www.ruokday.com

RUOK WeMakeTimeToAsk FC2x2

Newport & Wildman provides confidential counselling services and psychological related training for employees, managers, family and friends. For more information, please contact us on 1800 650 204.

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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.

WHW20

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 the Newport & Wildman Team who can go through our Women's Wellbeing Training and Webinar options.

If you would like to arrange an appointment for yourself call us on 1800 650 204. Find out more about our counselling service here.

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

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

At the heart of what we do at Newport & Wildman is caring for others’ wellbeing – particularly their emotional health. For all of us affected by the lockdowns around Australia, our emotional wellbeing is probably being tested. 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.

Sally Kirkright, AccessEAP CEO

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Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

We all know it's essential to prioritise eating well, exercise and relaxation in this incredibly stressful year but it can be a little easier said than done. Looking after yourself requires a multi-layered approach so below are some tips to help get you back on track.

Exercise 

  • Exercise provides a mood boost and a more energised outlook on life thanks to the release of endorphins. Exercise can help to lift low mood.
  • Exercising with a buddy, or as part of a team, provides a sense of belonging through the sharing of common interest. It also helps motivate and keep you on track toward your health goal.
  • Participating in a sport or reaching a personal physical goal promotes a sense of mastery, accomplishment and increases self–esteem. Set yourself a physical goal no matter what your current fitness level is. Remember tackling small ‘chunks’ of a larger goal will see you mastering your chosen activity in no time! For example, commit to a 20-minute power walk each morning and increase this by 10 min increments each week until you are walking an hour a day.
  • Exercise improves cognitive function. It has been proven decision-making and problem-solving ability improves after exercise. We all know the feeling of going out for a walk and coming back with a ‘clear’ mind. Some may even choose to use their lunch break as an hour to hit the gym, go for a jog, walk or train in a group.

Sleep

  • A good night's sleep helps foster both mental and emotional resilience. Chronic sleep disruptions set the stage for negative thinking, depression, anxiety and emotional vulnerability. Being physically active throughout the day can help you get a restful sleep. See here for more tips to sleep well. 

Nutrition 

  • Every meal should include protein to ensure a continuous supply of the amino acid tryptophan to the brain Tryptophan is proven to boost mood. Add some fish, turkey, chicken, meat, eggs, legumes, milk, cheese, yoghurt, nuts or seeds to your meal.
  • Studies suggest omega-3 oil can reduce symptoms of depression. You can include oily fish such as salmon in your diet or even take a daily supplement. Vegetarians get similar benefits from flaxseed oil, walnuts and chia seeds.
  • Excessive weight loss through extreme dieting can make your mood worse and should be avoided. Rapid weight loss and lack of good nutrition will deprive the brain of glucose and other nutrients that control mood. If you are planning to lose a few kilos do it sensibly with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.

Water

  • An adult can lose up to 2.5 litres of water daily through the lungs as water vapour, through the skin as perspiration, and through the kidneys as urine. If you do not drink enough fluids to replace this loss you will get the symptoms of dehydration, including irritability, loss of concentration and reduced mental functioning. Replace fluid with drinks such as water and non-caffeinated herbal teas. Aim for about 2.0 litres each day, and increase water consumption on very hot days or when you have been exercising.

Alcohol

  • Alcohol has a depressant effect on the brain and can result in rapid worsening of your mood. Also, the body uses important nutrients to process alcohol; those who consume alcohol excessively may suffer from vitamin deficiencies, which can in turn impact mood and overall health. Limit your alcohol to special occasions and drink moderately, avoid binge drinking altogether.

 

For more information or to arrange an appointment, please contact Newport & Wildman on 1800 650 204.

 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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Let's talk R U OK? Day

 RUOK Banner Web 2

Thursday, 9th September is R U OK? Day and Newport & Wildman would like to support you and your people to feel confident asking “R U OK?”. 2021 has had its challenges, and this year we are focused on helping people have these conversations and feel confident to respond if someone says they are not OK.

A common theme for many people this year has been isolation. It’s unfortunate that one of our best weapons against COVID-19 is something that can negatively impact on mental health and wellbeing. This year we would encourage you to consider the benefits of bringing people together for R U OK? Day. Examples could include our virtual group training session, a virtual morning tea or a lunch and learn session using our Webinar.

R U OK? Day is often the busiest day of the year for us here at Newport & Wildman! Given the challenges we are facing, we expect this year to be the same. Reach out to discuss how we can support you and your people.

You can also download our Wellbeing Tool - Asking R U OK? through the Wellbeing Calendar on the Employee and Employer Login Areas.


R U OK? inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.
For more information about R U OK? visit their website ruok.org.au.

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It’s ok not to be ok

It’s ok not to be ok. It’s even more ok than ever to not be ok through our current pandemic. When you find yourself consistently challenged in ways you’ve never really experienced before, over an extended period of time, it’s easy to feel drained. We are in a period of time that we can say is unique for most of us as our lives change and evolve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the moment that you find yourself reading this take a pause and acknowledge that in spite of all the challenges you have done the best you can do, and that’s more than can be expected. Remember, “It’s ok not to be ok”.
 
It’s a natural human response to say to someone who is going through tough times “I understand”. We recognise that for many of us who are either in heightened physical distancing or supporting our people in that situation, that right now we empathise with you. We may not understand, but we are genuinely cheering and supporting you through these challenges. We’re here for you and will stand beside and with you. We recognise that many people are just trying to make it through the day before doing the same the next day. We also believe it’s very important to remind you that we will get through this together.

If you need to prioritise your self-care download our Personal Tool for Keeping Mentally Healthy.

NW Personal Tips Strategies Keeping Mentally Healthy

Support is available. Reach out to us here at Newport & Wildman on 1800 650 204.

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Effective Communication - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

The everchanging COVID situation unfolding around the nation continues to fuel a media frenzy and the constant communication can be overwhelming. As leaders it’s important our communication, both spoken and written, doesn’t add to people’s anxiety or uncertainty. It’s about striking the right tone, being honest and clear, and being a stabilizing, reassuring influence on the organisation.

When I plan what I’m going to say, I start by listening. Take the time to ask questions, be curious and approach the conversation with an open mind. It can also help to practise standing in the other person’s shoes to see an issue from their perspective.

Misunderstandings can create a lot of extra work and frustration. I learnt from our wonderful clinical team the importance of regularly checking my understanding. “Just checking, you’re saying that…” not only helps us get on the same page, it tells the other person you're engaged and interested in exploring the topic with them. Another tool helpful in exploring a topic, and something we practice in our own meetings, is “Yes and…”. “Yes, that’s a really interesting point, and what about we build on that and also consider…” creates a positive cycle of ideas. “Yes, but…” pushes another’s idea away in favour of your own.

Being vulnerable and being ok with silence are both really important to me. We live in a very noisy world, where there’s an expectation we should have all the answers. Admitting to mistakes, seeking support, asking for help, apologizing, and acknowledging we don’t have all the answers are often seen as weaknesses. Not so. They are signs a leader is aware they are part of a team effort, where others’ contributions are valued – a leader can’t do it by themselves. As Brené Brown says “Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.” Being ok with silence also takes courage. To leave space, rather than jumping in to fill it, allows room for reflection, which can lead to new, creative ideas, rather than simply recycling the old. Silence can feel uncomfortable, but respecting those natural pauses allows time to think and feel, and in groups can give opportunity for the quieter, more thoughtful introverted members to have their say. 

Communicating with each other is the most natural thing in the world. We are born wanting to do it. And we can keep learning to do it more effectively. They are skills we can all constantly improve, and they are skills that underpin the work we do at Newport & Wildman.

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

 

Newsletter Cover Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels
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Stress Down Day 2021

 

Saturday 24th July 2021 is Stress Down Day, a fun and easy initiative designed to reduce stress and raise vital funds for Lifeline Australia. Stress Down Day promotes happiness, encourages help seeking and raises awareness of suicide prevention through raising funds for Lifeline's crisis support services. For more information, check out the Lifeline Website.

"Research shows that 90% of Australians feel stressed - with 74% of people reporting being stressed from work. This Stress Down Day we are asking you to 'task yourself with 30 minutes of movement' in recognition of the importance of taking some time out to relax your mind and body and give yourself a break:

  • 30 minutes of yoga
  • A walk around the block or along the beach
  • Swim
  • Ride
  • Dance

Whatever form of movement makes your body feel good!" Stress Down Day.

Self-care and managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic

  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.

  1. Work out your priorities

Start your day by writing down your main concerns, prioritise them and tackle each challenge one at a time. Make your tasks achievable and tick each one off once complete. It is a great way to focus your energy on each single task and once complete you will feel a sense of achievement and progress.

  1. Practice saying no

Sometimes we become ‘yes’ people –‘yes I will get that done, not a problem,’ when really our stress levels are soaring and we should have said no. If you are already feeling overloaded, think hard before committing to other people’s needs and expectations. Remember you can always say, ‘I’m sorry I can’t do that right now I am just too busy.’ No is not always a bad thing.

  1. Take your time

We could all learn something from the saying, ‘slow and steady wins the race’, by slowing down and going at our own pace. Most of the time working slowly but consistently will achieve more than becoming over-stressed and frantic.

 
It is important to remember that feeling anxious, fearful, stressed, angry or irritable are common and normal feelings during uncertain times like these. It is important to monitor your own physical and mental health. For more information or to arrange an appointment, please contact us on 1800 650 204.
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Men’s Health- Reducing Stigma in the Workplace

It's Men's Health Week from the 14-20 June. The focus is on Connecting for Men's Health, find out more on the official website.

Misunderstandings about mental health can lead to prejudice, discrimination and stigma. While there have been changes recently in the media reporting on mental health concerns, stereotypes are often perpetuated in sport, films, media and social networking especially by images portraying unrealistic images of men as strong, self-sufficient and “practical providers”. In reality these are unhelpful and often untrue and, there is even more scope for the role of media and social media in debunking myths and raising awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. The most effective way to break down prejudice and stereotyping of mental health issues is through; education, awareness and listening to people’s personal stories.

Men who suffer with Mental Health issues feel societal stigma is often more disabling than the illness itself. Coping with a mental health issue often includes increased use of drugs and alcohol, risk taking behaviour and social isolation. Over time these activities negatively influence self-esteem and confidence and in extreme circumstances can lead to suicide. Men are afraid of the impact on their relationships and career if they open up and talk about or show their feelings. Often feelings like anger or aggression can mask underlying depression.

Research by the Mental Health Council of Australia (2013) found that discussing a mental health issue is still taboo in the workplace. Research conducted states that 69% of people are uncomfortable to disclose a mental illness to their employer, while 35% would never disclose. The study reported that 48% of respondents had taken time off work for a mental health issue and not disclosed the reason to their employer. These are alarming statistics and reflect the need for action to eliminate the stigma and fear of disclosing a mental health issue in the workplace.

1 in 8 men will suffer from some form of mental health issue over a lifetime. Life’s issues such as the death of a loved one, illness, injuries, genetics, interpersonal conflict as well as drug and alcohol abuse can all contribute to levels of anxiety and depression. Seeing a person ‘with’ a mental health issue rather than labelling them is a helpful shift. Acceptance by peers and family, knowing that there is help available and being supported to access help are critical in helping individuals seek the appropriate assistance.

Organisations need to have procedures in place to manage mental health in the workplace and work towards eliminating the fear of disclosure. They should provide training to leaders and supervisors to help them have sometimes difficult conversations with the team members around their personal wellbeing and potential mental health concerns. We often are reluctant to offer support because we are afraid of saying the wrong thing.

What can Newport & Wildman do to help?

We can provide a comfortable and private space to talk where there isn’t pressure to bottle things up. A person who is experienced in understanding human emotion and behaviour can listen without judgment and without consequence. We can even offer tips or strategies if that’s what is wanted or needed.

EAP sessions are free and confidential. You choose how much you want to say and what you want to focus on in the sessions.

How to arrange an EAP session

All that you need to do is contact us on 1800 650 204 and our Client Services Team will book you in for an appointment with one of our clinicians.

 

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Take Your Dog to Work Day 2021

Friday, June 25th is this year's Take Your Dog to Work Day. If you are lucky enough to have a well-behaved pup that can come in, make sure you get approval from your employer before you bring your pet in. With many people still working from home, we also encourage you to bring your dog and any other pets to your online meetings! 

What should I consider before taking my dog to the office?

It’s important to ensure this does not adversely impact on the health, welfare or working environment of employees, volunteers or visitors to office, or on the health and welfare of the animal or other animals in the office. For tips to make the experience run smoothly check out the RSPCA's Website.

Newport & Wildman and AccessEAP Pets

Here are just some of the pets that have come into the office. Many more join us on Zoom calls!

Take your dogs to work day

 

Cover Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

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Positive Psychology and Change - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

We’ve all been going through so much change over the past 18 months – border closures, social distancing, businesses rapidly adapting to their employees working from home, and now trying to find a balance between work from home and office. It’s hard to find stability in the midst of so much uncertainty.

This is where it can be useful to remember that we all have what’s called a “negativity bias”. This is the way we often pay more attention to information we feel is negative. If we do this a lot, it can become harder and harder to solve complex problems as we get stuck in the fight-flight-freeze response. To rebalance the scales, it can pay to consciously give our attention to things that we feel are good and useful. This is where Positive Psychology comes in. Positive Psychology focuses on our strengths, building on what works. When applied to working with change and uncertainty, it gives us an approach and a set of questions that help us to flourish.

Finding the most useful question is half the battle when trying to solve a problem. “How do we avoid difficulties when introducing a particular change in the business” leads to a very different answer when compared with “How can we draw on our strengths when introducing a particular change.” In my experience, the first question leads us towards negativity, the second towards positivity.

I use a journal to regularly reflect on how I can bring greater positivity to the way I am a CEO, the way I am in my life, and how I initiate change. Taking time at the end of each day for conscious reflection helps me to refine my leadership style, to think through how I want to approach change from a more positive mindset. It also helps to get my thoughts down on the page rather than them circling around in my head just before I go to sleep!

At Newport & Wildman, we approach change through the lens of Positive Psychology.

  • We frame our process of change positively, so we’re aiming towards something we want rather than away from something we don’t want. We underpin this by first reflecting on what our strengths are and checking we are making use of them.
  • We are curious about what the future could look like, and then we aim to be clear what success looks like – it helps create a clear path, and we’ll know when we get there!
  • We design a way forward and then draw on our strengths to tackle challenges – it helps us feel more confident and engaged.
  • Finally, we deliver the change by taking one small step after another - our confidence grows with the success of each small step.

I believe the principles of Positive Psychology have made me a more effective leader. I invite you to try them out or do some deeper investigation if you’re already familiar with them.

 

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

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Newport & Wildman 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

Newport & Wildman 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.