Mental health and wellbeing, healthy eating, physical activity

Monday 25 May, 2020



Alfred Health


Health areas

Mental Health and Wellbeing, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity


Tips and activities


In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Alfred Heath has expanded its range of activities to support staff wellbeing and has provided regular updates to staff to encourage continued connection in a changing work environment.


With over 9000 employees spread across numerous sites and with many staff at the forefront of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, varied organisational-wide and local-level actions were required to address staff needs.


Actions include:

  • Collaborative wellbeing initiatives: bringing together a group of over 50 staff from various Alfred Health sites and departments, all of whom have an interest and passion in staff wellbeing. This group meets on a weekly basis to coordinate a range of coronavirus (COVID-19) specific actions and is undertaking planning for ongoing staff wellbeing initiatives.
  • Wellbeing intranet page: a new intranet page was developed for staff, providing a one-stop shop for all health and wellbeing materials, resources and offers. This site has been widely promoted internally and is updated regularly. The site includes information on physical health (e.g. physical activity, nutrition, alcohol, and other drugs and smoking), family support, mental health, working from home, free offers for staff, and videos and podcasts that promote positivity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Daily organisational updates and dashboard: all staff are provided with daily updates on the current status of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Alfred Health, including patient numbers and impacted staff, and organisational changes. Staff can provide feedback and ask questions via Yammer (the internal communication tool).
  • Distribution of hampers/supplies: food and drink supplies and other donated goods such as self-care products have been distributed to staff across the organisation. Staff noted these hampers made them feel appreciated by the organisation and supported by the local community.
  • Alfred MINDS: this initiative offers mental health assistance and support for colleagues experiencing psychological distress as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), this includes a confidential Tele-Support Service with a clinical psychiatrist/psychologist, virtual Peer Support Service for Junior Medical Staff, and a wellness, stress and burnout survey as part of a research project.
  • Free access to home workouts: while the on-site gym had to close its doors at The Alfred, the ProSport Health and Fitness team developed online training, which was free to all Alfred Health staff.
  • Working remotely teams: those working remotely were encouraged to stay connected to the organisation and others via an online platform. This included virtual morning and afternoon teas.
  • Guided meditation: provision of weekly guided meditation sessions were shared with staff to watch live or playback at a convenient time.
  • Anti-stigma campaign: a campaign was developed showcasing messages from staff across the organisation (including executives, frontline staff and those working remotely) normalising that these are extraordinary times and encouraging staff to prioritise their wellbeing and access the support available.
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP): promotion of our Employee Assistance Program supports, including the creation of virtual on-site support for all staff.
  • Local level initiatives: initiatives occurred at the local level on wards, including the development of a dedicated ‘wellness space’ for staff on the third floor.
  • Support to staff in furlough: a number of staff exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) were placed in isolation away from family and homes. Support included ‘well checks’ by our EAP provider, delivery of meals and phone calls of support. For a staff member who celebrated a birthday while in isolation, a special gift pack was delivered to celebrate the day.