Meet Julan Woodford from Regis Ayr. To acknowledge and celebrate World Mental Health Day, we take the time to meet our WHS Representatives across our organisation.

When did you join Regis?

I joined Regis Aged Care in 2016 and I’m currently working at Regis Ayr in The Burdekin.

What different roles have you undertaken?

I’ve worked across a variety of roles, including Assistant in Nursing (AIN), Medication Competent, Health & Safety Representative, AIN Buddy / Mentor – OWL, Continence Resource Nurse and currently part of the Regis Behaviour Task Force Committee.

What attracted you to work in the aged care sector?

I was looking to return to work after having children and I wanted to do something different from my previous work roles. It was not something I had ever thought of doing before, so I started to look into the sector and became very interested, applied for an AIN role and was successful. I was able to work as an AIN whilst I achieved my aged care qualifications.

What does a typical day look like in your role?

I primarily work in the Dementia Secure Unit (DSU). Everything from assisting our residents with daily living, meal service and the dining room experience, and helping them to participate in leisure and lifestyle activities such as puzzles, exercise, music therapy, and other engaging activities. It’s also important for me to just take the time to sit and talk with our residents and learn about their lives; understanding how they contributed to our community is a special part of my day.

What does kindness mean to you?

Kindness to me means taking the time to listen so you can understand what a person needs or wants and trying to meet their needs. It’s about being there to lend an ear and to give a hug when it’s needed.

How do you prioritise your mental health?

Taking time to do the things I enjoy doing such as spending time with family, friends and my dogs, listening to music or watching a good movie.

Do you have any advice on improving mental health?

Take time to breathe – when feeling overwhelmed, taking just five minutes out to ‘just be’ and get some fresh air and sunshine. It’s essential to take deep breaths so you can refocus on what needs to be done and prioritise.

What is your team doing for World Mental Health Day?

For World Mental Health Day this year, our team will be promoting our Spirit Board and we will encourage employees to share and post on the board what they do for their own mental health. For example, to be with family and friends, go for walks, listen to music, etc. Having employees share what they do may help start a conversation with a co-worker or give them ideas on what other practices they can adopt.

What do you like about your role / your team / Regis?

I enjoy working with the residents and I feel that my colleagues are able to come to me and ask me anything. I’ll always try and help them where I can or point them in the right direction to get the answers they need. And I feel the same way with my team; if I need anything, I can go to them for help or advice. They are always there if I need help and that goes from my fellow AIN’s through to management.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have enjoyed my time working with Regis and have been given the opportunity to work in different areas and to increase my knowledge and awareness further in this sector. Thank you!