Published on 16 September 2022

It’s the season to spring clean, but did you know that a mental spring clean can be just as beneficial as a physical one?

You may feel like you’ve been running on adrenaline for many months now.

This fight-or-flight response is a natural response to stressful situations, but if it’s always turned on, it can be disruptive, leading to mental and physical responses, including: anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, muscle tension and sleep problems.

Stressful events are a part of life. And you may not be able to change your current situation. But you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you, by learning to identify your stress triggers and having strategies in place to deal with them when they arise.

A mental spring clean can help set you up to rise to the next challenge that emerges.

Schedule some time to declutter your mind. We are all busy, but a brisk walk, or taking 10 minutes to sit in a quiet space can be enough to focus your mind on the things that matter.

Start a journal is another popular way to face your thoughts- find five minutes a day to reflect on past experiences and make plans for the future.

You can also ask for help. We have a range of supports available to staff, or you may have a friend or family member you can talk to.  Discussing how you are feeling is a great way to reduce stress, vent your feelings and get the back up you need.

Consider using your mental spring cleaning time to set up a stay well plan.

Westie Wind Down: Prof Tony McGillion

If you would like to share how you wind down, destress when you are away from work, please email:, or consider posting photographs on the virtual tea room pinboard.

Meet our new No Lift Coordinator

Darren McLellan has found ways to reinvent his career many times, all from within Western Health.

He shares some insights with us into his new role as No Lift Coordinator and encourages colleagues who are seeking a new challenge to consider that the change they need could be found close to home.

Read more

How you can ask: R U OK?

Last week we marked R U OK? Day at Western Health by sharing information about how to start a conversation with someone who you may be concerned about.

In addition to the information and resources provided to staff, we gave away cookies and welcomed the Lort Smith volunteers and their pet therapy dogs Charlie, Pippa, Olivia, Velvet and Cognac to our sites.

Here are four conversation steps to give you the skills and confidence to chat with someone you’re worried about:

1. Ask
2. Listen
3. Encourage action
4. Check in

There are a range of supports that are available to staff, not just on this important awareness day, but every day, as part of our efforts to support your wellbeing.

Have your tried a mini-massage?

The Seated massage initiative returned to all sites once again in September, with five minute shoulder, back and neck massages enjoyed by staff at Bacchus Marsh, Sunbury, Melton and Footscray

Sunshine and Williamstown staff can look forward to receiving their five minute massages on the dates below:

Sunshine – Tuesday 20th September – 9:30am-4:30pm – WCHRE Lecture Theatre

Williamstown – Friday 30th September – 9:30am-4:30pm – The Hub (inside)

Bookings are not necessary. Just turn up at the times allocated to the site you work at.

Find the details of the October sessions here.

Kind regards,

Sandy Schutte

Executive Director (Acting) – People, Culture & Communications

Adjunct Professor (Victoria University)