Tag Archives: health

Mindful May- Create A Resilient Workplace

Mindful May is approaching fast. Have you made plans yet?

This May we are committed to building mentally healthy, resilient workplaces throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria. Join Engage Health as we deliver a 4 Week Psychological Resilience program in your workplace.

Course Overview

This 4- week program will teach employees practical tools and techniques for stress reduction, emotional regulation and psychological resilience. With themes and evidence-based practices from our signature eight week attention training program, participants will learn effective strategies for improved mental health, coping with stress, remaining composed during times of difficulty and how to be fully present in their work and home life.

*One workshop will be held each week in May at your office/site. Each workshop is approximately one hour in duration.

Week 1

Introduction to Attention Training

  • What is mindfulness?
  • Creating a self-awareness.
  • Using the breath as an anchor to calm the mind.
  • Minimising internal distractions.

Week 2

Neuroplasticity & Habits

  • The science behind attention training and mindful practice.
  • Hard-wiring happiness. (The brain that changes itself).
  • The importance of pleasant awareness, positivity and gratitude.

Week 3

The Stress Response

  • Learning to self-regulate and reduce reactivity.
  • Understanding the role of the amygdala.
  • Identifying early warning signs of stress, anxiety and mental illness.
  • Neurobiology of emotions.

Week 4

Self-Care & Resilience Tools

  • Outsmarting the stress response.
  • Eliciting the relaxation response.
  • Dealing with stress & difficult emotions/ pain/ sensations.
  • Mindful eating

Booking are now open for all organisations. Please email sally.cumming@engagehealth.com.au or call 0401358309 for more information.

The New Integrative Approach For Improving Mental Health & Resilience in the Workplace

As an organisation we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve staff wellness, reduce psychological distress and prevent injuries. We have set ourselves ambitious targets to increase the number of Victorians reporting high levels of resilience, and of course the workplace is a key setting for this.

We needed to find an effective formula that produced beneficial results for staff, as well as tangible business outcomes.

Creating a program that was embedded within a context of both Mind/Body and Integrative Medicine, was the winning formula. We combined themes from both our corporate mindfulness program, ‘Wise’, as well as our injury prevention program, ‘Engage’, to create the ‘Wise Worker’ program. For the first time in my career I was inspired to create a program that could draw on both qualifications as an exercise physiologist and a mindfulness practitioner. Teaching evidence-based injury prevention practices as well as well-researched mindfulness interventions meant we could achieve the holistic results we were looking for.

Over the last few months we trialled this exciting new program at the Department of Health and Human Services with the Disability Support Carers. Eight houses were selected throughout Victoria and we have now completed all eight departments. We are absolutely thrilled with the results, the testimonials and the self-reported feedback. The core purpose of the program was to inspire staff members to create personal health goals to see how good they could feel in four weeks. The goal setting and individual health screening was a key component that led to the cultivation of positive health behaviours.

Over the course of four weeks participants were taught how to integrate and apply mindfulness into their everyday lives, as well as how they can protect themselves from pain and injuries at home and at work.

Through combined mindfulness training and body awareness practices, staff learnt how to illicit the relaxation response. This was a key component of the program, not only for reducing injury risk but also for reducing pain, tension and muscle tightness. Suppression of the sympathetic nervous system and physiological stress response was also effective in improving digestion, increasing energy levels, and improving flexibility, blood flow and circulation. Mindful movement and guided injury prevention exercises were tailored specifically to assist in the prevention of wear and tear injuries due to postural dysfunction. Staff were encouraged to perform manual handling tasks with mindful awareness so they could slow down and perform the tasks correctly with proper posture and ergonomic equipment.

Disability support workers have a difficult and constant role. Work in helping professions can be incredibly rewarding, but also very challenging. Usually there is a focus on looking after others before themselves. For many support workers the idea of self-regulation and self-nourishment is a new concept, so this was a vital component of the program. Through mindfulness and breath work, staff were able to bring some calmness, clarity and appreciation back into their day. Teaching staff how to anchor themselves amidst the pull of turbulence in their lives helps them build the capacity to accept, tolerate and transform painful mind and body states without reacting so intensely to them.

When our body and our mind are working efficiently we feel great. Mood and workplace morale is improved and performance is enhanced. Educating staff using this combined approach to both mind and body training is one that we are pleased to say has been incredibly effective. We look forward to continuing this exciting new work with other professions in the near future.