For HMAS Moreton regularly checking in on one another’s mental health is par for the course of the weekly routine.
The Australian Defence Force is a resilient workforce which can sometimes make it hard to ask for help and why Moreton’s personnel stay connected with activities ensuring a healthier wellbeing.
One in five Australians including our own ADF members experience mental health problems every year, with depression and anxiety being the most prolific conditions.
In a recent visit to Moreton, Jennifer Harvey the Mental Health Promotions Coordinator at the ADF Centre for Mental Health South Queensland, reiterated the importance of looking out for one another and praised Moreton for recognising the significance of mental health.
“I am always so heartened when I visit Moreton, as a team they really embrace mental health and wellbeing.
“I hear stories of how people regularly check in with one another, I see a team that share a laugh and engage in activities such as yoga, bowling, gardening and ‘Hawaiian Shirt Day’ BBQ’s.
“The team are just connected, not only through work but in other meaningful ways,” Jennifer Harvey said.
This year’s theme, ‘Look after your mental health Australia’ is something the ship’s company take seriously.
The ADF Health and Wellbeing Portal ‘Fighting Fit’ identifies fitness as one of the many ways members can keep a healthy body and mind.
Moreton are fortunate to have the enthusiasm of Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Tricia Muller coordinating a range of rewarding activities.
“During our morning PT classes we have a variety of ranks from various workplaces attend.
“The programming is designed to have people working in groups or teams which allows for encouragement of one another and exposes individual mental and physical drive.
“At the end of each session we usually finish with a gratitude exercise, personnel partner up and share something they are grateful for or share why they are grateful to be working with their partner.
“This simple activity can have an enormous impact on someone’s day and their sense of worth within the team,” Petty Officer Muller said.
Re-designed COVID-Safe recreational activities are also a regular part of Moreton’s routine and are a huge contribution to mental wellbeing.
From ten pin bowling, Swedish long ball, bouldering, softball and Moreton’s own ‘Bris Vegas Amazing Race’ around Brisbane there is something for everyone.
“The friendly competition gets everyone out of the office and achieves a healthier balance to our busy working week.
“Engaging in physical activity provides us with a positive experience and the psychological effects can really lift people.
“With COVID-19 it has been easy to fall into a negative headspace as conversations and changes to lifestyle have been impacted by the pandemic.
“The activities we do enable us to support one another find our ‘fun’ in the week and really gives us opportunities to check in with our shipmates,” Petty Officer Muller said.
The ADF Health and Wellbeing Portal ‘Fighting Fit’ provides a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and support.