Mental Wellness Champion
Individual or Team Nomination?
In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:
- Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
- Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
- Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
- High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
- A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.
Nominee's story :
Since January 2021, Catriona Rowland has been the staff Wellbeing lead at Newham Hospital. She was redeployed into the role from her day job in Quality Improvement because of her innate ability to listen to staff and respond to their concerns and her limitless energy and drive. She has been the central driving force behind the formation and delivery of the new health and wellbeing service at the Newham Hospital.
Catriona is a force to be reckoned with – within weeks of starting her role, she had identified several spaces in the hospital that could be converted into wellbeing areas. She secured comfortable furniture, embedded donated neurobeds, massage chairs, free magazines, food and refreshments. She was also intuitive enough to realise that not all staff could leave their wards to avail of these resources. And so, she worked to provide in-ward wellbeing to these staff.
She has worked to embed a newly-allocated psychology resource at the Hospital for both individuals and teams in need of it to ensure that staff’s mental health was being cared for, as well as their physical, and in turn, she has supported local managers to support their own teams’ mental health. For example, regular mindfulness and check-in sessions were embedded into team huddles, and teams and individuals were supported in accessing help via apps and local mental health initiatives.
Since January, Catriona has organised many initiatives that helped staff with their mental and physical wellbeing, to relax and release. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- s silent disco
- singing lessons
- concerts from the London Symphony Orchestra
- skin clinics to deal with PPE –induced issues
- zoom exercise classes
- hand and soft-tissue massages
- visits from therapy dogs
- a healthy living club for staff, learning about diet exercise and mental wellbeing
- a gardening club
She is a constant presence on site with high visibility in all staff areas and continuously promotes the availability and uptake of wellbeing services and opportunities to staff.
During this time Catriona has also somehow managed to find time to mentor and support several members of staff who have been seconded to the wellbeing team. These individuals include volunteers and Project Search Interns – individuals with learning needs accessing a programme within Newham Hospital, with the aim of improving access to work. We have seen these staff members’ skills and confidence blossom, thanks to Catriona’s support and guidance.
Going forward she is ensuring each area has an individualised wellbeing plan, which includes embedding wellbeing knowledge, skills and behaviours to recognise and respond when mental health is a challenge for staff, but also to build up resilience and continue to support good mental health.
Catriona has gone above and beyond in what isn’t even her usual day job. She cares deeply about the mental health and wellbeing of staff at Newham Hospital and for this, she deserves praise and recognition.