Following the success of Tom’s recent article ‘The Top 5 Mental Health Myths’, Paul Taylor interviewed him about the myths for his podcast audience.
Listen to the full podcast episode here:
The Healthy Minds program is now available as part of the respective government school wellbeing initiatives of NSW, Victoria and SA.
In 2022, Healthy Minds was recognised at the top tier of evidence quality and admitted to the Victorian Government’s Mental Health Menu for schools. By 2024, all government schools, including metropolitan Melbourne, will have access to the ongoing fund to implement wellbeing initiatives. We are excited to have commenced work with several Victorian schools and look forward to expanding our impact in the coming months and years.
At the end of 2022, the Healthy Minds program became available as a quality-assured program in the NSW Department of Education’s Student Wellbeing external programs catalogue in the theme of Resilience.
And most recently, South Australia’s Department for Education announced its External Wellbeing Programs Directory, on which Healthy Minds is featured.
We are excited to see the commencement of systematic attempts to present evidence-based intervention for student wellbeing in schools. For more information on how your school can implement Healthy Minds, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Each year Healthy Minds creates a 30 min podcast as a Christmas gift to our network to encourage listeners to ‘Holiday with a Healthy Mind’. After sourcing feedback from clients we tackle the following topics in this short podcast:
- How to recharge after another challenging year
- What wellbeing factors are most topical at the end of 2022
- Successfully navigating family time
- Managing the Christmas period if you are alone
- Dealing with financial pressures
- What are our expert psychologists are focusing on at this time.
Speaking of psychologists, here is some background on our experts.
Dr Tom Nehmy – Director
Clinical Psychologist | South Australia
Dr Tom Nehmy is the founder of Healthy Minds. More than 45,000 people have attended his workshops, training programs, invited addresses, and conference presentations across Australia and overseas. He has co-authored 10 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and was awarded the 2015 Flinders University Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. His book Apples for the Mind is out now.
Psychologist | Queensland
Laura is a Psychologist with over 14 years experience in creating positive solutions for people and organisations across Australia and NZ. Her successful track record in organisational consultancy, clinical interventions and stakeholder management has equipped her to adapt and lead through uncertainty, manage ambiguity and to solve complex problems. Laura has a particular interest in occupational challenges (stress, burnout, adjustment) and performance enhancement (executive coaching, leadership, team dynamics and resilience).
Please enjoy this podcast and from all of us at Healthy Minds have a healthy, happy and safe Christmas.
Tom, Nick & the Healthy Minds Team.
Press play below to begin the podcast…
INTRODUCING: The Ultimate Corporate Wellbeing Playbook!
If you’d like an insight into our combined 20+ years of corporate wellbeing experience, and to learn the strategies that leading companies are using to massively boost the wellbeing and performance of their workforce – then this is for you!
For a limited time, my Healthy Minds co-Director Nick Lee and I want to share this little book with our professional networks at no cost. Why? We think it provides a valuable resource that will help you improve how you do wellbeing in the workplace regardless of whether you choose to work with us. It also provides detailed insights into how we work with leading companies in more than 20 countries, which may inspire you to work with us too (if you think we’d be a good fit).
To grab your copy, visit: https://lnkd.in/gSm9azQ
Introducing the Healthy Minds Wellbeing Index
At Healthy Minds, we often get asked: “How do you measure wellbeing?”
Too often corporates need to rely on indirect indicators such as absenteeism, staff turnover, and productivity.
While these indicators matter, they are a consequence of wellbeing… and many other factors. This leaves a diluted, complex picture at best.
We have come up with a solution.
The Healthy Minds Wellbeing Index (HMWI) is a 35-item questionnaire that takes your staff only 5 minutes to complete.
Developed by leading psychologists, the HMWI will objectively measure the six core wellbeing factors in the Wellbeing Wheel.
It also allows:
✓ An overall index score, which can be used to benchmark and compare states / companies / industries
✓ Six subscale scores to see the relative wellbeing strengths and opportunities within a group.
✓ Comparison between states and management / non-management as well as the ability to track wellbeing changes over time
✓ The ability to curate a comprehensive wellbeing strategy based on real-world data from your own staff
✓ The examination of 8 single-item ‘Indicators of Importance’
✓ The opportunity to direct staff to internal resources specific to their identified areas of developmental needs.
We are launching the Healthy Minds Wellbeing Index in Mental Health Month (which is October in Australia).
If you’d like to explore a data-driven wellbeing strategy to unlock the wellbeing and performance of your staff -> get in touch with us to be a part of a special opportunity to trial this in your workplace.
Huge congratulations to our very own Healthy Minds Director Nick Lee, who has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his incredible charity work in the prevention of bowel cancer. Nick has saved many lives through his work as Founder and Chair of the Jodi Lee Foundation.
We are extremely proud to have Nick work with us, also pursuing his passion for prevention at Healthy Minds.
[Photo credit: Cath Leo]
It’s very exciting to see our clients recognised for prioritising the wellbeing of their staff. Having partnered with Diageo Southeast Asia on some innovative wellbeing training projects, we are beyond thrilled to see them win Health & Wellness Initiative of the Year in the FMCG Asia Awards.
Led by the amazing Abhilasha Krishnan, Diageo Southeast Asia were recognised for a number of wellbeing programs and projects, one of which was their leadership sessions with Healthy Minds’ own Dr Tom Nehmy.
The fabulous win was detailed in this article by Retail Asia.
Last year, we had such an incredible response to our Christmas gift – a podcast called ‘Holidaying with a Healthy Mind’, presented by our own Dr Tom Nehmy, to help you make the most of your end of year break – that we’ve decided to do it again this year!
You can listen to it on this page, or there is an option to download so you can listen on your preferred audio player.
Here it is… Merry Christmas… Enjoy!
>>> 2021 Holidaying with a Healthy Mind podcast <<<
As mentioned in Dr Tom Nehmy’s recent columns for the Advertiser and Sunday Mail, the Wellbeing Wheel is a tool for self-management of one’s overall wellbeing – the core of your mental health.
As an organisation that has been at the forefront of peer-reviewed scientific research into the prevention of psychological disorders, Healthy Minds is in a unique position to propose a new way of thinking about wellbeing. Our Wellbeing Wheel represents an integrated approach to preventing psychological disorders, remediating problems, and enhancing wellbeing. The Wellbeing Wheel includes six evidence-based factors that encompass the full spectrum of psychological functioning. We acknowledge that mental health is on a continuum: at one end is disorder and disease, and at the other end is focus, energy, motivation and fulfilling potential.
How to generate your wellbeing score
The Wellbeing Wheel is designed for subjective self-assessment, meaning it does not rely on standardised norms to be useful: the usefulness is in your ability to self-assess the relative strength of six key wellbeing indicators, and then generate strategies to improve your own self-ratings.
Give yourself a score out of ten in each of these domains. From there, it is possible to start planning pragmatic and personally relevant tasks to enhance your wellbeing.
Here are the factors:
The primary relationships segment refers to the people you live with, spend most of your time with, and/or who are ‘closest’ to you in an emotional sense – for better or worse. Relationships provide a huge amount of context to our experiences of life, and influence our wellbeing greatly.
If the relationships we have with those closest to us are healthy, encouraging and supportive, they will enhance our wellbeing; if not, they will detract from it.
Biological Needs and Health Status
Our diet, the amount of sleep we get, consuming enough water and not too much caffeine or alcohol are essential aspects of wellbeing. On the extreme end, very poor diet or the excessive consumption of unhealthy foods and drinks will result in serious physical health problems including illness and chronic disease. Some people are also highly sensitive to foods such as sugar and caffeine and therefore experience mood swings and peaks and troughs in their energy levels. Sex, medication compliance, and regular visits to the GP will influence our score.
Exercise gets a whole segment for itself, despite seeming as if it should come under the Biological Needs segment above. Why? Because it has such a big influence on mood management and stress relief. Research has found that for a certain subset of the population, vigorous exercise several times a week can have a major mood effect similar to or greater than that of antidepressant medications. It discharges stress, increases our physical capacity for daily life, and causes the release of endorphins that make us feel good. For any mildly depressed client I see, the first thing I get them to do is to increase their activity levels, and one great way to do this is to simply exercise. Exercise will also positively affect sleep, metabolism, and will lower risk for many potential health problems.
It is probably not surprising that the psychological skills segment is the one people find the most difficult to rate. And this is the area in which we spend most of our time training others – from corporate audiences to high-school students.
The psychological skills I am referring to include concepts like helpful thinking; techniques for managing emotions; relating to ourselves in an encouraging and compassionate way; being flexible; understanding and prioritising personal values; being willing to tolerate discomfort; and more.
This segment is the most challenging to self-rate. As a helpful prompt, try to give your rating based on your best impression of:
- How well you ‘manage’ strong emotions. Do you feel like you can make good decisions when having a strong emotional reaction to something? Do you find, in hindsight, that your responses fit the situation well or do you over- or -under-react? Do you get ‘stuck’ in states of ‘negative’ emotion or do you tend to bounce back quickly.
- How accurate your thinking is. Do you tend to predict disaster that never seems to eventuate? Or do you under-estimate risk? Would your friends describe you as ‘level-headed’ and ‘flexible’?
- How you relate to yourself. Are you harsh and hard-hearted in what you ‘say’ to yourself, as in self-talk? Or are you an encouraging coach who employs constructive criticism but also acknowledges what you do well.
- The quality of decisions you make. If someone was viewing your life as a movie, would they say you have navigated life well? Would they say you have demonstrated an ability to learn from the past, and become ‘wiser’ over time?
It doesn’t matter if your rating feels like a guess – that’s all it needs to be.
Fun, Interests and a social life
A healthy life is a balanced life. And no matter how driven or focused you are, it is part of being human that we need to take time away from work and goal-directed activities to recuperate, focus on pleasurable things for their own sake and enjoy social connections and pastimes.
Apart from your primary relationships, this segment also nurtures that human need to feel connected to, and supported by others.
Values, Meaning and Purpose
This segment pertains to who we are, and why we are here. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Your sense of purpose is the broader meaning with which you engage in life. Is it your work? Is it your role as a parent, grandparent or carer? Or is it volunteering your time for a cause that is important to you and goes beyond your own needs to give something back to society as a whole?
For some people, having a spiritual or religious practice and belief-set provides a context that both soothes and drives them in their life’s direction. Others still might be driven by a large goal that they are working hard to bring to fruition. Whatever the cause, that sense of meaning and purpose, of having a ‘role’ of importance and relevance, is an essential component of overall wellbeing.
Likewise, living according to what we value is an intrinsic part of living in a purposeful way. Beyond enjoying good feelings, living according to your values provides a life rich in satisfaction and contentment that goes far beyond the pleasure of being comfortable, feeling ‘happy’, or leading a low-stress life.
What to do with your score
Once you’ve rated each segment around the Wellbeing Wheel, take a look at the scores in relation to each other. Which segment is your strongest? Which is your least strong? Have a think about your less well-developed segments and come up with 3 specific strategies to enhance your number on one or more of your segments. That is, 3 pragmatic things you can do that are likely to cause you to score higher on one or more of the segments if you were to conduct a wellbeing audit using the wheel in a couple of weeks or a month’s time.
Make sure at least one of your self-generated wellbeing strategies should be something very easy. Set yourself up for success!
We recommend that you revisit your Wellbeing Wheel regularly to see how your scores have changed and to help you manage your wellbeing like a personal project.
Remember: rather than having the goal of experiencing positive emotions (which can be fleeting, as emotions are designed to come and go), focusing on your wellbeing is the golden key to overall emotional self-management. When your wellbeing is high, positive emotions will naturally follow, and you will notice yourself being more resilient in the face of challenging times. You will also have unlocked the secret to the very foundation of your quality of life: to be well, and able to perform at your best.