Victorian Institute of Sport Performance Lifestyle Team facilitated a range of initiatives to support and bring awareness to our athletes and staff members mental health on R U OK? Day last Thursday.
2020 has been a challenging year in many different ways for everyone, so this year it was so important to share the ‘R U OK?’ message. In order to do this the VIS Performance Lifestyle Team reached out to wider VIS community and checked in.
The Performance Lifestyle Team facilitated a workshop for all staff members as one of the initiatives on R U OK? Day. The workshop was with Psychologist Caroline Anderson, aiming to provide VIS staff members with tips and insights on how to have the confidence to ask, ‘R U Ok?’ and have conversations about mental health. This was in line with the R U OK? Day focus of 2020 – “There’s more to say after R U OK?”
Over 30 staff members were a part of this session, which was agreed to be “extremely helpful” in building skills and confidence to have and continue a mental health conversation beyond R U Ok? The VIS Performance Lifestyle Team are grateful for the support of Open Universities Australia to provide this opportunity.
Whilst it was challenging for the VIS Performance Lifestyle Team to implement their ‘Walk n’ Talk’ initiative due to the current restrictions in place in Victoria, they still saw this as important. Using the 60 minutes of daily exercise, they were still able to go for a walk and call some of our VIS athletes to see how they have been prioritising their own mental wellbeing and staying connected with friends and family during these tough times.
You can see some of these ‘Walk n’ Talk’ catch up’s here
Whilst it was a key goal for our Performance Lifestyle Team to check in with athletes on ‘R U OK DAY?’ it was also our athletes that were using their social media platforms to provide inspiration to the community and promoting the ‘R U OK’ message.
The VIS Women’s Hockey program also used R U OK? Day to share their message to “never underestimate the power of your words and actions and what they may have on someone else”.
View this post on InstagramToday is R U OK? Day and in 2020 it is more important than ever to stay connected with your family and friends ???? Being in isolation presents challenges in being able to physically connect with one another, however it is no excuse for us not to check in with the people in our lives. Now more than ever, whilst we are unable to give each other a hug or high five, a simple text message or call can be the difference between someone feeling alone and helpless or connected and loved. Taking just 5 minute out of the 1440 you have in your day can make such a difference and put a smile on someone else's face. We urge and encourage you all to make the effort and check in with the people around you. Let today be the start of many days to come where we collectively aim to support and be there for each other, even in isolation. never underestimate the power your words and actions have on someone else Remember we are always here if you need a chat, Lots and lots of love, vis hockey fam ???? @vicinstsport @ruokday
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Olympic race walker and VIS scholarship holder, Rhydian Cowley, admitted that “lockdown is hard” and that he has good days, and bad days. But wanted to encourage the community to “make a habit of checking in with each other, and with ourselves, not just on this day, but throughout the whole year”.
Whilst it was a very important reminder to check in with each other and ourselves last Thursday, the VIS Performance Lifestyle Team are hoping that the message can be just as strong all year around and will continue to promote this message around the wider VIS community.