Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing is an important part of providing effective support. This guide will help you to do this by exploring the following:
- Workplace factors that could affect your mental health
- Tips for optimal wellbeing
- How and where to reach out for support if you need it
Your work and your mental health
Before getting into the details, it's important to understand that mental health, like a lot of things to do with health, has a very broad spectrum. At one end of the spectrum we experience positive and fulfilling emotions, while at the other end, we could experience a diagnosable mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. This doesn’t mean we can’t live fulfilling and productive lives - far from it - but it might mean we need to access support from time to time to help us get there.
Things that can impact your mental health while working include:
Fatigue and Exhaustion
You might find yourself providing support to a variety of people and families on Hireup. We understand that passionate and committed employees are driven to work hard, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of your own mental health and wellbeing. It’s important to know what your personal limits are when it comes to working hours, as overcommitment can lead to fatigue and exhaustion. This can, in turn, have a negative impact on the level of job satisfaction, as well as compromising the quality and safety of the support being provided. Personal limits will look different for everyone based on factors like your experience and physical health, so we encourage you to find a balance that works for you and your lifestyle. Remember, it’s work on your terms.
Life isn’t always predictable and things can be going on in your personal life that can take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing. We encourage you to reach out for support when you’re experiencing challenging periods, whether this means chatting to a friend, family member or a professional; we’ll provide some helpful information on this later in this guide.
Challenging work relationships
If something is bothering you about a working relationship, we encourage you to have an open and honest conversation about it with the people you work with but if you require further assistance we encourage you to reach out to the Hireup team.
You can call us on (02) 9113 5933 or email email@example.com
Some factors that can lead to unhelpful and unhealthy levels of stress could be overcommitting yourself at work, putting yourself in situations where you’re uncomfortable while working and engaging in working relationships that aren’t a suitable or safe match for you.
Although some stressful situations can be unavoidable, knowing what tools to access when you find that stress arises in your life can be really helpful. We’ll provide some practical tips on this later in this guide.
If you experience a serious incident while working as a disability support worker, we’re here to support you through it. This might involve using our Employee Assistance Program or just having a conversation with our community support team. We’ll provide some helpful information on these supports later in this guide.
What is depression?
While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood, it's a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.
Depression affects how you feel about yourself and makes life more difficult to manage from day to day. The encouraging news is that there is a range of treatments, health professionals and services available to help with depression, as well as information on what you can do to help yourself.
For more information on depression, please visit beyondblue
For more information on the treatment of depression, please visit beyondblue
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, they usually pass once the stressful situation is over, or when the ‘stressor’ is removed.
Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don't go away – when they're ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren't easily controlled.
A range of health professionals and services offer information, treatment and support for anxiety conditions, as well as a number of things you can do to help yourself.
For more information on anxiety, please visit beyondblue
For more information on the treatment of anxiety, please visit beyondblue
If you find yourself in a position where you feel comfortable reaching out for support, it’s important to know who you can turn to, no matter what is going on in your life.
The Better Access initiative provides better access to mental health practitioners through Medicare. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive Medicare benefits for up to 10 individual consultations with a mental health professional in a calendar year.
We understand that exploring professional help in person might not be the best option for you, so below we’ve listed some alternatives:
- Have a conversation with friends or family members
- Call Lifeline if you require crisis support - 13 11 14
- If you’re under 25 you can use eheadspace for online and telephone supports - 1800 650 890
- Call the Beyondblue support service - 1300 22 4636
- Visit Head to Health to explore a range of digital mental health resources
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Hireup knows that the important work done by disability support workers can sometimes be challenging, both physically and mentally. That is why have an Employee Assistance Program to provide counselling and psychological support to our workers when they need it. If you are interested in utilising this service, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 9113 5933.
Recommendations - some of the things we like to use
Our list of recommended stress-busting wellbeing apps and resources:
Healthdirect is a provider of trusted, free health information and advice and is supported by the governments of Australia.
Calming the mind
Smiling Mind - A web and app-based meditation program developed by psychologists and educators to help bring mindfulness into your life.
Headspace - A web and app-based mindfulness app.
Stop Breathe & Think - An app that allows you to check in with your emotions, and recommends short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel.
Calm - An app for mindfulness and meditation to bring more clarity, joy and peace to your daily life.
Colorfy - Colouring therapy for adults on your mobile.
Breathe app by ReachOut - Designed to reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety by slowing down your breathing and your heart rate.
Pacifica - Daily tools for stress, anxiety, and depression alongside a supportive community.
Music for the soul
‘Unwind’ playlist on Spotify - A great playlist for relaxing and unwinding.
Relax Melodies - Relax Melodies offers relaxing sounds and sleep meditations that you can custom mix and fall blissfully asleep to.
Why we all need to practice emotional first aid - Guy Winch.
There's no shame in taking care of your mental health - Sangu Delle.
The power of vulnerability - Brene Brown.
Need someone to chat to?
7 Cups of Tea - Find someone to talk to: 7 Cups of Tea provides online therapy and free counselling.