Online show keeps mental health conversation going

Aged care provider RFBI’s month-long mental health initiative for aged care professionals has featured 50 guests including performers, celebrities and mental health experts since it kicked off on 1 October.

A live daily broadcast highlighting the importance of mental health for aged care professionals has featured scores of performers, celebrities and special guests plus thousands of viewers since it launched at the beginning of this month.

The 2021 Mental Moments Show is a month-long initiative from Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution and the Australian Aged Care Collaboration running throughout October to coincide with Mental Health Month.

The show, which RFBI launched last year as a week-long initiative, features a live program from 2pm (AEDT) each day with messages from special guests and experts, an hour-long slot with performances on Fridays, plus on demand viewing via YouTube.

Since 1 October 50 guests have joined the show including Australian singers Normie Rowe and Kamahl, illusionist Sam Powers, comedian Vincent Sorrenti and Australian-Italian tenor, songwriter, musician, and composer Alfio Bonanno among seven performers.

Alana Parker

Over 10,000 people including aged care staff and residents have tuned in to watch each of the Friday shows, said Mental Moments Show lead Alana Parker.

It has been a “massive undertaking,” said Ms Parker, RFBI’s chief marketing officer.

“This year, because the whole message is about the importance of mental health in aged care and recognising and valuing what aged care workers do, we wanted to make the show bigger than RFBI,” Ms Parker told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“We wanted to engage the whole sector, allow everyone to enjoy the performances, share a laugh and continue that really important conversation,” said Ms Parker.

She said the program has featured 12 mental health experts to date sharing tips on maintaining good mental health.

Australian boxer Michael Zerafa, swimmer Emily Seebohm and basketball player Rebecca Cole are among the other guests who have appeared on the show.

As are former New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler, NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard and NSW Governor Margaret Beazley.

Illusionist Sam Powers and Miss World Australia 2017 winner Esma Voloder performing a magic trick on the Mental Moments Show.

Ms Parker said feedback has been positive.

“I’ve received some beautiful messages from people who have come back to me after watching the show, letting us know that they are enjoying it and finding the mental health tips helpful,” she said.

Ms Parker hopes the show helps to keep a conversation about the importance of mental health in aged care going.

“Everyone has had a tough time. The last couple of years with a pandemic and everything else going on has been hard for a lot of people, particularly those working in the aged care sector as part of the frontline health response,” she said.

“Being able to shine a spotlight on the wonderful work that is happening aged care, recognising that and valuing the staff that are working there and making sure that we all care for the carers, is what it’s all about,” Ms Parker said.

RFBI won the outstanding organisation award at the 2021 HESTA Excellence Awards for the 2020 Mental Moments Show.

Tune into the show.

Main image: Alfio Bonanno performing at the Mental Moments Show.

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Tags: aged care workforce, alana parker, Australian Aged Care Collaboration, mental health, mental health month, rfbi,

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