Mutual aged care and assisted living provider Australian Unity has hosted a series of walks to raise awareness about mental wellbeing as part of international mental health week celebrations.
The initiative, which was held on World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, included a resident’s walk at Peninsula Grange Retirement Community on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and employees from Melbourne and Brisbane participating in lunch time walks.
The events promoted positive steps for improving mental health such as engaging positively in relationships, giving the gift of time, being present and keeping active.
Australian Unity CEO for independent and assisted living Kevin McCoy said the initiative provided an opportunity for people to connect and reduce isolation.
“World Mental Health Day was an opportunity for Australian Unity to draw attention to and raise awareness of mental health issues and honour our commitment to building and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing strategies in our communities and in the workplace,” Mr McCoy told Australian Ageing Agenda.
“Older Australians are generally more prone to loneliness and social isolation, that can consequently have adverse effects on their mental health,” Mr McCoy said.
Staff from Australian Unity’s Sydney office will participate in their walk next week due to poor weather conditions.
Guide to support staff launched
Elsewhere, Neuroscience Research Australia launched a guide on Wednesday to support mental wellbeing at work.
The free 50-page eBook Mental Wellness at Work includes information on the importance of sleep for improving mental wellness, signs and symptoms of work-related stress, the impact of chronic back pain and depression and anxiety at work.
The resource features a series of five-minute audio sessions, which aims to get the reader to imagine being in different places, such as a rainforest or tropical island.
NeuRA CEO Professor Peter Schofield said nearly 20 per cent of Australians would experience a form of mental illness in their lives.
He said NeuRA researchers were committed to curing mental disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
“Our research is aimed at better understanding these disorders so effective and targeted treatments can be delivered,” Professor Schofield said.
NeuRA has also launched HEADS at work, seminar-based a program for human resources professionals to implement internal mental wellness programs in the workplace.
Access NeuRA’s eBook and information on its workplace program here.
World Mental Health week runs from 7-13 October and World Mental Health day is celebrated annually on 10 October.
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