In response to the changes in society since the outbreak of COVID-19, the MercyCare team has been adapting to different ways of working since the beginning of the year and we know the changes are also affecting the everyday lives of staff and volunteers.
As always, access to an external confidential counselling service is available through this time, but the situation has called for even greater support and that is why MercyCare set up its own Wellbeing team.
MercyCare Mission and Ethos Executive Director Vicky Gonzalez Burrows said the organisation had a person-centred focus, not only in its delivery of services to the community but as part of its workplace culture.
She said maintaining positive wellbeing within staff and volunteers was also important for the work the organisation does.
“Wellbeing affects their ability to serve our mission and the people entrusted in our care. We have taken a holistic approach to wellbeing that embraces the emotional, physical, spiritual, social, mental and physical health of our staff.” Mrs Gonzalez Burrows said.
“Wellbeing begins with how safe, connected and confident we feel in our roles and in our teams and everyone at MercyCare is supporting each other, ensuring we have the resources to do our jobs well,” she said.
The five-person team has been running weekly mindful moments, an e-lunch room, wellbeing check-ins, as well as providing a variety of wellbeing resources and online mental health training courses via the intranet.
These initiatives are complementing the work of team leaders in building the connection and wellbeing of their teams
The weekly mindful moments are 15-minute long online group meditation sessions held during the working day that staff and volunteers are invited to join in on.
Through MercyCafe, staff are provided with an online location to spend their lunch break with colleagues and catch up.
The Wellbeing team has also been contacting staff and volunteers in order to provide wellbeing check-ins as a way of offering a listening ear or potentially someone to brainstorm some ideas to boost morale and wellbeing in their specific work locations.
Mrs Gonzalez Burrows said check-ins had been well received.
Also in the works, is a staff and volunteer survey to gauge overall wellbeing of staff and volunteers and how they perceive MercyCare is responding during COVID19.