The message I wanted to share this month is a simple one.
It’s actually more of a question than a statement, which is ‘what are you doing to look after you?’
The reason I ask this question is that I know that many of those who read my updates are employed in the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector. I know others work across the broader community sector, private organisations and government.
Many of you are working in roles where you’re looking after others and this is most likely the key focus of your job every day when you turn up to work.
On any ‘normal’ day, the work that you do is complex and challenging. We also know that stress, burn-out and worker well-being are real issues for those employed in the alcohol and other drug sector. So layer on top of that the intensity of the last few months it’s only natural that you may be starting to feel fatigued. I know that I am.
So my question to you is, ‘what are you doing to look after you?’
I believe this to be a really important question for us all to consider because while it’s comforting to see the easing of restrictions across the State (balanced alongside the ongoing safety measures to minimise the risks of COVID-19 coming back onto the island) it’s also clear that things are unlikely to slow down any time soon.
It’s been my observation that as we are emerging out of the COVID-19 ‘response’ phase into the ‘recovery’ phase, there is, and will continue to be, a heightened sense of urgency to keep things moving to support our economy, and the health and wellbeing of our community.
I have spoken to many of you over the past few weeks, and I know how hard you’re all working.
I know that the requests for support from your services are starting to increase. I know that your organisations are working through how to prepare for what’s ahead with limited information and some uncertainty. I’ve also seen a genuine desire from some to try and ‘catch-up’ on the delivery of programs or services that were delayed or scaled back, which may result in a flurry of activity of trying to squeeze 10 months’ worth of work into the five months remaining this year.
I want to thank you for the effort that you’re putting in to keep things moving at the current pace and assure you that our team are also working hard alongside you.
But I will say it one more time… as you continue to look after others, please make sure that you’re also seeking support for yourself if you need it. Whether this be finding time for self-care, debriefing with colleagues or loved ones or reaching out to speak to someone professionally. Your health and wellbeing is just as important as those you are working hard to assist.
At least think about my question, because if I happen to be talking to you in the coming weeks I may just ask you this question directly. I look forward to hearing your answer.
Chief Executive Officer