Well-being during COVID-19

Well-being check

It is healthy to talk about the stress and trauma caused directly or indirectly by the coronavirus. The mental load is significant and you need to look after yourself to look after others.

See Beyond Blue’s advice.

Get direct help at this stressful time:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
  • LifeLine text (6pm-12am) 0477 13 11 14  

The following resources were gathered at the Conversation Circle on 23 July 2020 led by Loretta Bolotin, Co-founder and CEO of Free to Feed, and from Networking Drinks with Sally Quinn, Co-Founder and CEO of Green Collect, on 29 July 2020.

Daily reflections to help you be more resilient, intentional, inclusive and aware

Greg Harbidge encourages leaders to spend two five-minute blocks of time each day to consider the following:

Morning reflection:

  • What does my organisation most need from me today?
  • How do I ensure my time is best spent?
  • How do I ensure I am not a blocker?

Evening reflection:

  • What issues need to be solved tomorrow?
  • Who do I need to help, talk to, enable or support to address the issue?
  • How do I manage me – stay calm?

How do you engage staff and resist burnout?

Vikki Reynolds 2011 article “Resisting Burnout with justice-doing

These 12 principles on sustainable engagement and resisting burnout will resonate strongly with social enterprise/humanitarians as it was created by one of us and not inherited from the corporate sector.  

Strategies for healthy workplaces 

Beyond Blue have a fantastic suite of resources to start building a framework to promote mental wellbeing in the workplace. Leaders can be guided and understand where to start. 


Starting a conversation with your team to explore how they are coping during lockdown  

Start with these questions:

  • How do I cope with uncertainty? What tactics do I adopt, what happens to my communication? (examples include planning, humour, disengagement, denial, venting, talking, writing etc.) 
  • What do I need to support my coping style?
  • How can I show up for myself and the team to help support coping and communication? 
  • How will I hold myself accountable to this?

Resources for these questions include:

Free to Feed’s journey 

Free To Free engaged a professional consultant.

In 2019, Free to Feed engaged Dr Anne O’Connor, a highly respected leader in trauma-informed organisational practices, as well as clinical Psychologist with over a decade experience working directly with asylum seekers at Foundation House, to undertake a comprehensive review of Free to Feed’s approach to the wellbeing of its participants and staff. Some of Free to Feed’s Wellbeing activities include:

  1. Conducting a Wellbeing audit including interviews with the wider sector and our own staff and receiving a list of recommendations to implement.
  2. Introducing a Wellbeing policy and framework.  
  3. Appointing a staff Wellbeing leader and focal point.
  4. Monthly facilitated reflective practise with an external expert practitioner to hold space for the group.
  5. Introducing a buddy system to remain connected during COVID. 
  6. Investing in wellbeing coaching as part of leadership development of senior management.