Benevolent Aged Care’s staff have rallied together to raise awareness for mental health issues. Nearly 50 staff members and volunteers are participating in ‘The Big Walk Challenge’ during the month of October. The aim of the walk is for each participant to walk 120,000 steps over the month of October. This initiative is raising awareness for mental health issues but also much needed funds for Beyond Blue, with all money raised going directly to the charity for research and support services.
Only in its first year Benevolent has seen 47 staff, volunteers and residents sign up to be a part of the Big Walk Challenge, with the organisers overwhelmed with the response. “We have a tight knit community here at Benevolent, and it just shows with how many people have registered to participate, we’ve even had residents signing up for the challenge,” says HR Manager, Sue McLeod.
As well as spreading awareness for mental health issues, the aim of this challenge is to motivate everyone into being more active in their daily lives. “Working in such an emotionally driven industry, coupled with shift work, we have found that promoting physical activity outside of work to our staff has been very beneficial,” Ms McLeod explains. “We all have a role to play in ensuring good mental health and wellbeing including; employees, managers and leaders.”
Benevolent is currently running a self-funded initiative where all staff members have access to local psychologist Joanne Bell free of charge to discuss any issues they might be facing both inside and outside of work. “Mental Health issues effect both our staff and residents here a Benevolent, which is why it is so important for us to ensure we create an open and supportive environment that everyone can feel comfortable voicing their concerns,” says McLeod.
Benevolent Aged Care encourages everyone to open the discussion about their mental health, “next year we hope to have even more staff participating in the challenge and even opening it up to the public,” says McLeod.