Pastoral Support for Allied Health Workforce in times of change

Commissioned by the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, this presentation provides advice, guidance and support for Allied Health professionals in the context of change and uncertainty. Dr Sharon Moore (Clinical Psychologist) talks us through the key actions that we can take to look after ourselves and each other, as we work with unprecedented change across our health and disability system.

Kia ora. The following presentation provides an overview of self-help, and supported-help resources that are available and are collated in our Resource Hub. The resources and tools outlined in this PowerPoint are just some of the many resources included in the hub. The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation.

I will start by providing a little bit of guidance on how you might personalize the many resources, and supports outlined in the Resource Hub to ensure that they best meet your individual wellbeing needs. If you or someone you know requires urgent support, and you cannot wait to see your GP or another health professional, then there are many 24/7 helplines and supports that are available.

As outlined by the Mental Health Foundation, if it's an emergency, dial 111 or go to your nearest emergency department. If you need to contact your local mental health crisis team, then contact details for local teams are outlined on the Ministry of Health website and the Mental Health Foundation website. Click on the blue button, which says, Need Help Now. And you can select the area where you live.

Alternatively, you can call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counselor. The Mental Health Foundation also provide an excellent brochure, which outlines helplines and local mental health services. This is available via this particular link and is listed in our Resource Hub.

As outlined in the Resource Hub, there are many different support helplines available. Some will specialize in providing support to adults, while others speciality will be in supporting teens and children. It's important that you take a little bit of time to review the range of supports that are offered, to ensure that they meet your individual wellbeing needs.

If you are not feeling well within yourself, then you might like to consider making an appointment to speak with your GP, as they will know you well. Your GP can complete a physical and a wellbeing health check. They will be able to provide support and advice as to the best treatment options available in your local area.

In some GP practices, mental health practitioners, often referred to as either Health Improvement Practitioners, or HIPs, as well as other wellbeing specialists, such as wellbeing coaches, are located within certain GP practices. However, it is best to check with your practice in advance to see whether these supports are available. Employee Assistance Programs, frequently referred to as EAP, refer to a wide range of supports that may be available free of charge via your organization.

So if you feel that you would benefit from speaking with a qualified professional, either face-to-face or online via Zoom, then check out your organization's intranet or speak with a colleague or manager to find out what supports may be available. EAP providers may also provide organizational training and support for both managers and staff.

If you were looking for some self-directed resources or tools to assist your wellbeing, then there are a multitude of options. And you might wonder, Where do I start? And what is good? In terms of apps, if you were looking for an app to support your mental health and wellness, we encourage you to get some recommendations from family, friends, or peers, or to check out some of the app reviews available on the Health Navigator website.

Please remember that if you would benefit from speaking with someone in person, you can consult with a counselor at no cost by dialing 1737 or by making an appointment with our mental health professional via your EAP provider. Your GP and manager will also be able to provide some excellent guidance and support. In terms of online or electronic resources, please note that electronic resources and tools are not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. And that you should always seek the advice of a qualified health professional with any questions that you may have regarding your health.

Next, we are going to have a look at some of the many online resources that are available, starting with Getting Through Together. At a high level, what I really appreciate about this resource is the very broad array of resources, tools, articles, and tips that it provides.

As can be seen in the next few slides, Getting Through Together offers an array of articles that include topics such as spirituality, changing your thinking, and introducing kindness to your day. Some of the other articles focus on how to be truly present in the moment, with some interesting exercises for your brain. Online tools include those from the Getting Through Together Campaign, how to make the most of downtime, as well as some excellent breathing exercises.

As outlined in this very detailed slide, the Health Promotion Agency offers a wide array of resources. And I will focus on those relating specifically to mental health and wellbeing. In the following slides, we will explore some of the content of individual resources, such as and the Small Steps Journey to Wellbeing resource.

The website, offers a range of resources, including wellbeing for Maori, wellbeing for Pasifika, as well as how to cope with COVID-19, and tests specifically to check on how you are feeling. It also has a link to Small Steps. Small Steps focuses on improving your wellbeing, with tools to assist with anxiety, stress, and low mood. There are several videos and tools offered, as outlined in the next slide.

There are tools to assist with practicing gratitude, breathing and relaxation, balancing your mood, mindfulness, active listening, and reframing your thoughts. Just a Thought website offers free online learning resources to improve your mental health. Resources provide assistance during times of stress, including how to stay on track during COVID-19 and beyond.

There are many different resources, guides, and downloads available, ranging from problem solving, mindfulness, and breathing techniques. Just a Thought also offers evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, courses designed for people who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Next, we are going to look at the wellbeing sessions that are offered by Changing Minds.

The Whakatau Mai Wellbeing Sessions are part of the government's response to COVID-19 and offer a wide range of free, online wellbeing sessions in real time. Instructions are provided on how you can attend the sessions, which are free of charge. As can be seen from this calendar snip, there are many different courses available each week, including those on mindfulness, yoga, and relaxation.

Next, we are going to take a look at some of the resources that specifically focus on workplace wellbeing. We will outline some of these resources in the following slides. However, there are several additional resources that we detail in our Resource Hub.

Wellplace is a website run by the Health Promotion Agency. It has resources and information that include mental health and mental illness, coping with COVID-19, mental health in New Zealand, creating positive work environments, promoting mentally healthy behaviors, the business benefits of good mental health, employers' legal responsibilities, and preventing stress, fatigue, and bullying.

The Wellplace website provides some useful educational videos on health and wellbeing in the workplace. The Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work toolkit, was developed by the Mental Health Foundation. It provides practical facts, and tips to introduce five simple and proven actions. This toolkit provides everything that you need to facilitate workshops that cover the five ways to wellbeing, namely, connect, take notice, give, keep learning, and be active.

The Mental Health Foundation also offer Open Minds e-learning modules, to assist managers to support staff who experience mental distress or illness at work. The Government Health and Safety Lead provide some excellent resources and guides to assist in the creation of mentally healthy workplaces. This particular guide is for the public sector health and safety leaders and practitioners.

Also provided are four very useful facilitation guides, which cover what is mental health and why it is an important issue? Mental health and physical health, whanau connection, wairua, mental and spiritual health and resilience. Produced by Kahui Oranga, a collaborative health sector group, the wellbeing resources relate to leadership, culture and values, better work practices, communication and engagement, and personal health.

In creating this PowerPoint, we endeavored to provide an overview of the self-help and supported-help resources currently available. We offered some guidance on how you might navigate the content of the Resource Hub, which includes resources and supports for individuals, whanau, and managers. We hope that you find these resources useful. And we wish you the very best.

Back to top