Tag Archives: victoria

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.

Discover Proven Strategies to Reduce Stress & Increase Resilience (With FREE Corporate Massage)

Discover Proven Strategies to Reduce Stress & Increase Resilience (With FREE Corporate Massage!)

Introducing a workplace stress resilience program like no other… A program for both the mind and body that combines neuroplasticity training with massage.

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Healthify and to celebrate we are offering our Wise mindfulness 8 Week program with the inclusion of FREE corporate massage for all participants!

Why are we doing this? We are passionate about inspiring employees, executives and senior management teams to be calmer, happier and more mindful because we’ve seen the results of burnout.

What is the Wise program? The Wise program is an 8 week mindfulness-based stress resilience program specifically tailored for the workplace. With mindfulness-based interventions and themes derived from the popular and well-researched Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, it is the only program of its kind to be available in the workplace.

Having completed a recent pilot study, the Wise program has been proven to increase both physical and psychological well-being, focus and productivity. This holistic program teaches proven easy-to-implement strategies and tools to improve communication, cope with stress, deal with challenges and be more psychologically resilient.

5 reasons to run the Wise program at your workplace:

1.      Enhanced mental performance. Improved focus, memory, concentration, learning ability and creativity.

2.      Improve resilience and how employees cope with stress, change and challenges. Our recent pilot study of 120 staff resulted in 93% of participants coping better with difficult or stressful situations.

3.      Increased business productivity. After participating in our course executives and employees are better able to deal with challenges with grace, and learn how to be fully present and happy with a stable mind.

4.      Improved health. Reduce anxiety, high blood pressure, migraines, depression, heart conditions, and diabetes. Noticeable improvements were also seen in sleep.

5.      Increased confidence. Mindfulness practice has been shown to enhance resilience, emotional intelligence and inner wisdom, resulting in improved confidence.

To book the Wise Program with free massage call us on 0401358309 or email info@engagehealth.com.au. 

We look forward to helping you reduce stress and increase performance at your workplace.

Mindfulness for Schools

Introducing WISE Teacher: Psychological Resilience Training for all Victorian teachers and “Overcoming Stress & Anxiety” training for Year 10-12 students.


We are delighted to have commenced facilitation of our WISE Teacher professional development training in schools. This is the first stress resilience program of its kind to become available for staff in the Education sector. Drawing on perspectives from science and themes from our eight week Wise mindfulness program, teachers learn evidence-based tools and practices they can integrate into the classroom. The original Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, developed at the University of Massachusetts in 1979, has been well-researched and has appeared in over 2000 medical journals. Research suggests the mindfulness-based interventions in the MBSR program alleviate a wide range of physical and psychological difficulties such as stress, anxiety, depression, aggression, high blood pressure and insomnia.

The workshop provides an enjoyable and in-depth exploration into mindfulness practice and stress physiology where teachers can learn effective MBSR tools for stress management, emotional regulation and psychological resilience. It has been designed to help teachers cope with the stress of everyday life and inspire them to create mentally healthy, mindful workplaces.

Alarming statistics show in each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness. Of even greater concern is the increasing number of students experiencing mental illness. 1 in 7 Australian children and adolescents aged 4-17 have mental health or behavioural problems. Mindfulness and attention training develops the ability to purposefully direct attention and behaviour. This correlates with greater resilience and ability to bounce back and persevere in the midst of stressful situations. It has been shown to foster emotional intelligence, gratitude, positivity and self-esteem which gives kids a head start for life. A little mindfulness goes a long way, even in adults, but the earlier teachers can introduce the practice of mindfulness to their students, the better.

From development of understanding on the principles of mindfulness a variety of applications can be made for both teaching practice but also occupational health and wellbeing. Mindfulness is an internal process, a particular way of relating to one’s experience. To communicate this successfully to students, teachers need to embody this process themselves. The term ’embodiment’ essentially describes how this interior work of mindfulness practice is implicitly reflected in the teacher’s presence and behaviour, which in turn influences the atmosphere of the classroom.

Work-related stress has a negative impact on teachers that is wide-ranging. As well as psychological health problems, stress has been associated with impaired performance, reduced productivity, physical illness, high staff turnover and sickness absence. Learning resilience and self-regulation skills are invaluable for staff in the teaching profession for not only managing stress but also for effective student management, dealing with high workload and other organisational demands. Without the appropriate understanding, tools and mechanisms in place, individuals are at an increased risk of exhaustion, burnout and mental illness.

Workshop Benefits:

Teachers who participate in this workshop benefit from: 

  • Improved self- awareness, self-management and self-regulation
  • Less habitual reactivity
  • Heightened emotional intelligence
  • Improved sense of wellbeing, happiness and job satisfaction
  • Improved leadership and communication skills
  • Improved relationships, ability to listen more attentively and be present with their students
  • Increased confidence teaching mindfulness exercises in the classroom
  • More effective student management

Noticeable improvements in students who practice mindfulness include:

  • Improved cognitive function- greater focus, concentration, memory, learning ability and creativity.
  • Improved self-esteem.
  • Better behaviour and grades.
  • Improved attention and attendance.
  • Better habits.
  • Increased positivity, optimism and mood.
  • Improved immune function.
  • Reduced risk of mental illness and poor mental health.

For more information please visit the website or contact us at info@engagehealth.com.au.