26 September 2023

CHS staff trained to support each other

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Additional wellbeing support for the Canberra Health Services (CHS) workforce is now available with the first cohort of Wellbeing Peer Support Officers completing their training.

Marking the milestone, the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the peer support program was one of the first initiatives co-designed and chosen by CHS staff as part of the Territory’s $8.5 million Health Workforce Wellbeing and Recovery Fund.

“The first group of 17 Wellbeing Peer Support Officers have been selected and have done specific training to enable them to provide confidential, informal and short-term assistance to colleagues experiencing difficulties in the workplace or at home,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“These officers are trained to link their peers with important resources to support their wellbeing,” she said.

“This could be helping team members who are dealing with anxiety or stress, mental health distress or experiencing difficulties in their personal life or in the workplace.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said ongoing professional supervision would be provided along with tracking and reporting of the program to monitor its benefits and success.

She said CHS was aiming to have 100 Peer Support Officers across the workforce by the end of 2023, with the next cohort of 20 officers scheduled to be trained in June.

“The Wellbeing Peer Support Officers, the Mayo Clinic Wellbeing Index app and wellness spaces are priority initiatives chosen by staff,” the Minister said.

“I look forward to seeing these initiatives make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our health workforce and thank everyone who has been involved in making these initiatives a reality.”

She said additional co-designed wellbeing initiatives would be implemented across the organisation in the coming months.

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