Looking out for yourself and each other

No matter what your role is in Transport, Coronavirus is impacting each of us in different ways. Our day to day life has changed and it can be overwhelming.

Everyone across Transport has an important part in our response, both now and on the other side of this. However, during these times of uncertainty and isolation, it’s so important that we look after our mental and physical wellbeing, and look out for each other.

It is okay to feel overwhelmed, anxious or worried in these challenging times, and support is always available.

This page has highlighted some of the useful information and resources available on our Staywell Hub to help you look out for yourself and each other.

Remember, we are all in this together.

Looking after you

It is normal to feel stressed or worried during times of change and uncertainty – it’s just the way our brains are wired. So with the current situation, its likely most of us will feel this way at some point.

Some of us may be finding it hard to concentrate, getting upset more easily and anxious over what will happen next.

There are a few simple things that we can do to help our mental wellbeing and reduce stress during this time.

Focus on your breathing

It may seem straightforward but breathing is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress chemicals in the brain. Take a moment to consciously focus on your breathing, in through nose and out through mouth. Count twice as long out, as in.

Check out these breathing and relaxation tips that are available on Staywell.

Stay active

Being active is a part of life for a lot of us and while we’re being encouraged to stay home, finding ways to remain active can have a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

Even if it’s just a quick 10 minute walk around the block. Here are some tips to help you stay active:

  • Put on music and walk briskly around the house for 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a day
  • Find an exercise video on YouTube such as yoga or pilates
  • Download an exercise app that takes you through simple muscle strengthening exercises you can do at home
  • Try not to sit all day – if you’re watching TV, get up every commercial break and do a lap around your home or an active chore

Plan out your day

Another way to deal with the challenges you may be facing during this time is to plan out your day, this can help you stay focused.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you set up your day:

  • Make sure you have regular breaks. Every 1.5 – 2 hours.
  • Call your breaks ‘recovery breaks’. This means no work and no talking about work Do something that nurtures you, such as walk in the sun, eat nice food, watch a funny video with the children.
  • Add some form of exercise every day. Being outside is very beneficial
  • Plan for the end of your work day. How and what time will it end? Then ‘detach’ from work, which means to do something that signals that the work day has ended for you. For example, go for a walk, kick a ball in the park with your children, schedule a personal phone call.

What if home isn't a safe space?

Working from home is not always possible for a range of reasons.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is one of those reasons may be domestic, family violence or abuse. If you or you know of a colleague impacted by domestic, family violence or abuse, please know that our office locations are still open. There is always a suitable alternative option and we will support you to ensure you are safe.

Where to go for support

First of all, please know there are many avenues for support and you are not alone. If you, your children or someone you support is in immediate danger, please call 000. The police are always there to help any situation and they’re trained to help. If you don’t feel comfortable getting the police involved in the first instance, there are others way to get support:

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) is a 24/7 confidential service to support people impacted by domestic violence
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 for support for children affected by family violence
  • Please let your manager, People Partner or one of our Mental Health First Aiders know if you need support. They’re there to support you, can help you with the right course of action and the special leave you’re eligible for
  • The Daisy App has information about support services in your local area. It’s free and includes safety features to help protect the privacy of people using it

Helping someone else stay safe

If you think someone you know may be impacted by domestic family violence or abuse, there are resources available to help you support them.

If you’re not sure where to start, this recent Women’s Agenda article on how to help someone experiencing violence or abuse at home during isolation has some good tips on how we can support others. Other resources include:

  • 1800 Respect has a range of information and resources for people impacted as well as those wanting to support a potential impacted person
  • Domestic and Family Violence short course and videos developed by SBS and the Male Champions of Change, these short course/videos share the role organisations and employees can play in supporting people impacted by domestic and family violence or abuse
  • There is also special leave available for our people impacted by domestic and family violence or abuse

Reach out for help

It is okay to not be okay and help is always available.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your leader, a colleague or a Mental Health First Aider to have a chat if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

This guide helps you navigate what support systems are available at Transport that you can reach out to. Visit Staywell for more information.

To contact the EAP simply call their Helpline on the numbers below. Benestar have moved to use phone/video/livechat sessions in place of face to face appointments to continue providing their services during this time.

  • TfNSW and, Sydney Metro: 1300 360 364
  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink: 1300 364 213
  • State Transit: 1300 687 327

Supporting each other

Sometimes a confidential chat with a trusted co-worker who knows you, or just a friendly face can be the best and easiest first step towards getting support.

This is why it is so important that we always look out for each other, and especially during this time.

This guide helps you understand what you can do to support your colleagues.

Stay connected

Even though we may be physically isolated, it’s important we remain connected with each other.

Check in with each other and remember that the stress people may be feeling is not necessarily about work – it may be concern for their family or loved ones, their own safety or just about being couped up at home.

Pick up the phone, check in via Microsoft Teams or organise a ‘virtual’ huddle – these are just a few examples of how we can help each other during this time.

Warning signs to look out for

There could be signs that stress is starting to mount for someone and sometimes they slowly build. They are not necessarily bad, but are a warning sign that the body and mind are seeking to reduce stress.

Warning signs to look out for in a friend or colleague include changes in behaviour, cognition and emotions such as:

  • A change in usual posture, for example, head lowered, slouching
  • Not smiling as much as usual
  • Aggression and irritability towards others
  • Talking about unusual/disturbing thoughts
  • Excessive worrying and procrastination
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Reduced productivity
  • Decreased personal care
  • Reduced activity and energy
  • Being more negative and critical of others and the workplace
  • Social withdrawal or isolation seen by becoming more unavailable, not answering phone or getting back to colleagues or clients, not contributing in meetings.

If you notice changes in your colleague, this guide helps you understand what you can do to support your colleagues.

Tips for having the conversation

Whether you’re a manager concerned about someone in your team or just speaking to another team member, the following tips from the Heads Up Organisation will help you have the conversation. Don’t worry if you don’t quite know what to say. Just by being supportive and listening, you’re helping to make a difference.

How to start

  • There’s no one right way of expressing things – the main thing is to be thoughtful and genuine.
  • You don’t need to have all the answers – it’s about having the conversation and the support you offer by talking.
  • Say what feels comfortable for you.
  • If what you say doesn’t sound quite right, stop and try again. It doesn’t have to be the end of the conversation.

Listen carefully

  • Remember that this is their story, so don’t try to guess how it plays out. Instead, listen and ask questions.
  • Be aware of your body language. To show you’re listening, try to maintain eye contact and sit in a relaxed position.
  • Repeat back your understanding of what they've said and make sure it's accurate.

Respond

Think about the best way to respond. You can’t fix things, but you can help them along the way. You might:

  • Decide that today you're just there to listen and offer support
  • Talk about it again another time
  • Keep checking in with them
  • Reassure them that you'll respect their privacy
  • Think about what they need now and ask what you can do to help.

Ally Network @ Transport

At Transport we’re building a culture where all employees are valued and supported. Building this culture includes recognising and celebrating the diversity of our workforce. The Ally Network is a visible body of people across the Transport cluster who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ+) or who are proud allies and supporters of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Becoming all Ally is a good way to always show your support for our people across Transport, but especially during challenges times. Anyone in Transport can be an Ally so if you’re interested, sign up today.

What does an Ally do?

Member engagement varies and you can decide your degree of involvement, including:

  • Participate in running of the Alley Network
  • Participate in Alley Netowrk activities in the workplace
  • Contribute to Ally Network communications
  • Be educated on LGBTIQ+ issues through awareness education, and then assist in further education within your organisation
  • Stay up to date with LGBTIQ+ issues and initiatives
  • Speak up against discrimination and harassment, when it is safe to do so
  • Show your support by wearing one of our network badges, or by adding our signature block to your email

Advice for people leaders

As a people leader you play a key role in checking in with your team and being available for support.

The Staywell Hub has a page dedicated to support people leaders that includes:

Support is always available

The Staywell Hub provides a range of resources to support you and your mental health and wellbeing, and to help us look out for each other.

Resources include a Mental Health Toolkit, mindfulness tools and techniques, helpful videos and a series of health and wellbeing podcasts.

There are also many support channels for our people, including:

Mental Health First Aiders – across Transport there is a network of volunteer Mental Health First Aiders among us who are trained to provide confidential advice and support, and are ready for a chat if you’re feeling overwhelmed. We've updated our Mental Health First Aiders directories across Transport and you can reach out to any Mental Health First Aider across the cluster.

Benestar, Our Employee Assistance Program – to continue providing their services during this time, Benestar have moved to use phone/video/livechat sessions in place of face to face appointments. They’ve also developed informative resources to help further support your health and wellbeing.

To contact the EAP call their Helpline:

  • TfNSW and Sydney Metro: 1300 360 364
  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink: 1300 364 213
  • State Transit: 1300 687 327

No matter what your role is in Transport, Coronavirus is impacting each of us in different ways. Our day to day life has changed and it can be overwhelming.

Everyone across Transport has an important part in our response, both now and on the other side of this. However, during these times of uncertainty and isolation, it’s so important that we look after our mental and physical wellbeing, and look out for each other.

It is okay to feel overwhelmed, anxious or worried in these challenging times, and support is always available.

This page has highlighted some of the useful information and resources available on our Staywell Hub to help you look out for yourself and each other.

Remember, we are all in this together.

Looking after you

It is normal to feel stressed or worried during times of change and uncertainty – it’s just the way our brains are wired. So with the current situation, its likely most of us will feel this way at some point.

Some of us may be finding it hard to concentrate, getting upset more easily and anxious over what will happen next.

There are a few simple things that we can do to help our mental wellbeing and reduce stress during this time.

Focus on your breathing

It may seem straightforward but breathing is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress chemicals in the brain. Take a moment to consciously focus on your breathing, in through nose and out through mouth. Count twice as long out, as in.

Check out these breathing and relaxation tips that are available on Staywell.

Stay active

Being active is a part of life for a lot of us and while we’re being encouraged to stay home, finding ways to remain active can have a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

Even if it’s just a quick 10 minute walk around the block. Here are some tips to help you stay active:

  • Put on music and walk briskly around the house for 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a day
  • Find an exercise video on YouTube such as yoga or pilates
  • Download an exercise app that takes you through simple muscle strengthening exercises you can do at home
  • Try not to sit all day – if you’re watching TV, get up every commercial break and do a lap around your home or an active chore

Plan out your day

Another way to deal with the challenges you may be facing during this time is to plan out your day, this can help you stay focused.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you set up your day:

  • Make sure you have regular breaks. Every 1.5 – 2 hours.
  • Call your breaks ‘recovery breaks’. This means no work and no talking about work Do something that nurtures you, such as walk in the sun, eat nice food, watch a funny video with the children.
  • Add some form of exercise every day. Being outside is very beneficial
  • Plan for the end of your work day. How and what time will it end? Then ‘detach’ from work, which means to do something that signals that the work day has ended for you. For example, go for a walk, kick a ball in the park with your children, schedule a personal phone call.

What if home isn't a safe space?

Working from home is not always possible for a range of reasons.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is one of those reasons may be domestic, family violence or abuse. If you or you know of a colleague impacted by domestic, family violence or abuse, please know that our office locations are still open. There is always a suitable alternative option and we will support you to ensure you are safe.

Where to go for support

First of all, please know there are many avenues for support and you are not alone. If you, your children or someone you support is in immediate danger, please call 000. The police are always there to help any situation and they’re trained to help. If you don’t feel comfortable getting the police involved in the first instance, there are others way to get support:

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) is a 24/7 confidential service to support people impacted by domestic violence
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 for support for children affected by family violence
  • Please let your manager, People Partner or one of our Mental Health First Aiders know if you need support. They’re there to support you, can help you with the right course of action and the special leave you’re eligible for
  • The Daisy App has information about support services in your local area. It’s free and includes safety features to help protect the privacy of people using it

Helping someone else stay safe

If you think someone you know may be impacted by domestic family violence or abuse, there are resources available to help you support them.

If you’re not sure where to start, this recent Women’s Agenda article on how to help someone experiencing violence or abuse at home during isolation has some good tips on how we can support others. Other resources include:

  • 1800 Respect has a range of information and resources for people impacted as well as those wanting to support a potential impacted person
  • Domestic and Family Violence short course and videos developed by SBS and the Male Champions of Change, these short course/videos share the role organisations and employees can play in supporting people impacted by domestic and family violence or abuse
  • There is also special leave available for our people impacted by domestic and family violence or abuse

Reach out for help

It is okay to not be okay and help is always available.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your leader, a colleague or a Mental Health First Aider to have a chat if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

This guide helps you navigate what support systems are available at Transport that you can reach out to. Visit Staywell for more information.

To contact the EAP simply call their Helpline on the numbers below. Benestar have moved to use phone/video/livechat sessions in place of face to face appointments to continue providing their services during this time.

  • TfNSW and, Sydney Metro: 1300 360 364
  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink: 1300 364 213
  • State Transit: 1300 687 327

Supporting each other

Sometimes a confidential chat with a trusted co-worker who knows you, or just a friendly face can be the best and easiest first step towards getting support.

This is why it is so important that we always look out for each other, and especially during this time.

This guide helps you understand what you can do to support your colleagues.

Stay connected

Even though we may be physically isolated, it’s important we remain connected with each other.

Check in with each other and remember that the stress people may be feeling is not necessarily about work – it may be concern for their family or loved ones, their own safety or just about being couped up at home.

Pick up the phone, check in via Microsoft Teams or organise a ‘virtual’ huddle – these are just a few examples of how we can help each other during this time.

Warning signs to look out for

There could be signs that stress is starting to mount for someone and sometimes they slowly build. They are not necessarily bad, but are a warning sign that the body and mind are seeking to reduce stress.

Warning signs to look out for in a friend or colleague include changes in behaviour, cognition and emotions such as:

  • A change in usual posture, for example, head lowered, slouching
  • Not smiling as much as usual
  • Aggression and irritability towards others
  • Talking about unusual/disturbing thoughts
  • Excessive worrying and procrastination
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Reduced productivity
  • Decreased personal care
  • Reduced activity and energy
  • Being more negative and critical of others and the workplace
  • Social withdrawal or isolation seen by becoming more unavailable, not answering phone or getting back to colleagues or clients, not contributing in meetings.

If you notice changes in your colleague, this guide helps you understand what you can do to support your colleagues.

Tips for having the conversation

Whether you’re a manager concerned about someone in your team or just speaking to another team member, the following tips from the Heads Up Organisation will help you have the conversation. Don’t worry if you don’t quite know what to say. Just by being supportive and listening, you’re helping to make a difference.

How to start

  • There’s no one right way of expressing things – the main thing is to be thoughtful and genuine.
  • You don’t need to have all the answers – it’s about having the conversation and the support you offer by talking.
  • Say what feels comfortable for you.
  • If what you say doesn’t sound quite right, stop and try again. It doesn’t have to be the end of the conversation.

Listen carefully

  • Remember that this is their story, so don’t try to guess how it plays out. Instead, listen and ask questions.
  • Be aware of your body language. To show you’re listening, try to maintain eye contact and sit in a relaxed position.
  • Repeat back your understanding of what they've said and make sure it's accurate.

Respond

Think about the best way to respond. You can’t fix things, but you can help them along the way. You might:

  • Decide that today you're just there to listen and offer support
  • Talk about it again another time
  • Keep checking in with them
  • Reassure them that you'll respect their privacy
  • Think about what they need now and ask what you can do to help.

Ally Network @ Transport

At Transport we’re building a culture where all employees are valued and supported. Building this culture includes recognising and celebrating the diversity of our workforce. The Ally Network is a visible body of people across the Transport cluster who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ+) or who are proud allies and supporters of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Becoming all Ally is a good way to always show your support for our people across Transport, but especially during challenges times. Anyone in Transport can be an Ally so if you’re interested, sign up today.

What does an Ally do?

Member engagement varies and you can decide your degree of involvement, including:

  • Participate in running of the Alley Network
  • Participate in Alley Netowrk activities in the workplace
  • Contribute to Ally Network communications
  • Be educated on LGBTIQ+ issues through awareness education, and then assist in further education within your organisation
  • Stay up to date with LGBTIQ+ issues and initiatives
  • Speak up against discrimination and harassment, when it is safe to do so
  • Show your support by wearing one of our network badges, or by adding our signature block to your email

Advice for people leaders

As a people leader you play a key role in checking in with your team and being available for support.

The Staywell Hub has a page dedicated to support people leaders that includes:

Support is always available

The Staywell Hub provides a range of resources to support you and your mental health and wellbeing, and to help us look out for each other.

Resources include a Mental Health Toolkit, mindfulness tools and techniques, helpful videos and a series of health and wellbeing podcasts.

There are also many support channels for our people, including:

Mental Health First Aiders – across Transport there is a network of volunteer Mental Health First Aiders among us who are trained to provide confidential advice and support, and are ready for a chat if you’re feeling overwhelmed. We've updated our Mental Health First Aiders directories across Transport and you can reach out to any Mental Health First Aider across the cluster.

Benestar, Our Employee Assistance Program – to continue providing their services during this time, Benestar have moved to use phone/video/livechat sessions in place of face to face appointments. They’ve also developed informative resources to help further support your health and wellbeing.

To contact the EAP call their Helpline:

  • TfNSW and Sydney Metro: 1300 360 364
  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink: 1300 364 213
  • State Transit: 1300 687 327