Small gestures can have a big impact.
Gold Coast Health Suicide Risk and Management clinical nurse consultant Matthew Welch said that’s why it was important to find simple ways to make connections with other people, not just on RU Ok? Day (9 September), but every day.
“These are challenging times and we need to work hard to maintain a sense of belonging,” he said.
“Wearing masks is essential for us as health clinicians but we can miss those facial cues and gestures of acknowledgement. Improving our sense of connection can be as simple as a polite, muffled hello with good eye contact to people we see in the corridor.
“And today we’re encouraging our staff to ask that question, are you okay?
“So please, take some time, ask a colleague, be serious, be genuine and actively listen to what they have to say. We’re all solution focused people, try not to jump in too soon with solutions.
“Give people time to tell their story, validate what they tell you and repeat back what you have heard. It makes people feel that you are listening. Ask open ended questions. Encourage action - if someone needs to get help support them to get help.
“It’s been a tough 18 months our staff have done a fantastic job and sometimes they are the last people to get asked, are you okay?”
Robina Hospital staff were yesterday (Wednesday, 8 September) given the opportunity to stop, check in and connect with each other at a lunchtime event ahead of RU Ok? Day (9 September).
The event was organised by Gold Coast Health’s Team Health and attended by a range of support services such as 4 Paws, Livin and Lives Lived Well.
If you or someone you know is experiencing depression you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.