Calvary creates its own Mental Health First Aid squad

By Jen Agars, Calvary National Manager Work Health and Safety

On average we spend half of our total wake time working. Some of us spend more time with our work colleagues than our loved ones. So it makes sense when there is a change in our behaviour or wellbeing, it doesn’t go unnoticed by our co-workers.

When a person is struggling, reaching out for help can be one of the hardest things to do. We also know when someone takes that brave first step it often isn’t a professional they turn to, but instead someone they trust like a friend or a colleague.jen agars, national manager work health & safety at calvary health care

This year, Calvary set the goal to have Mental Health First Aid Officers embedded across all of our organisation, from our hospitals, to our residential aged care, to home care and in our corporate offices.

In just two months, 92 Calvary staff members were trained in Mental Health First Aid. This means they have the practical skills, knowledge and confidence to listen, connect and support someone who may be struggling. We will continue to expand this training, ensuring all of our 18,000-plus staff and volunteers can access the support they need, when they need it.

Each of our Mental Health First Aid officers are passionate about staff wellbeing. They are committed to breaking down the stigma around mental health to ensure that all Calvary staff feel supported and encouraged to talk openly about this important health issue.

Our mission at Calvary is ‘Being for Others’, and with that comes the responsibility of looking after ourselves. Our people are encouraged to prioritise their own health and wellbeing, so we can continue to to provide safe, high quality, and person-centred care for our patients, residents and clients.