December 2017

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of December.  This webinar is entitled "Values, Behaviours and Your Finances".

Find the webinar at:

Values Behavious and Your Finances Webinar

 

The VHI LiveWell December Newsletter focuses on recovering from a substance misuse disorder and is at:

VHI Newsletter December 2017

 

October 2017

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of October. This webinar is entitled "Positive Parenting".

Find the webinar at:

October 2017 Webinar - Positive Parenting

 

VHI LiveWell October Newsletter, focusing on quitting tobacco:

October 2017 Newsletter

 

September 2017

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of September. This webinar is entitled "Managing Family and Relationships".

Find the webinar at:

Sept 2017 Webinar - Managing Family and Relationships

 

VHI LiveWell September Newsletter, focusing on Strategies for Raising Children:

September 2017 EAP Newsletter

 

August 2017

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of August.  This webinar is entitled "Building Workplace Relationships".

Find the webinar at:

https://optum-au.webex.com/ec3200/eventcenter/recording/recordAction.do?siteurl=optum-au&theAction=poprecord&recordID=12022076&internalRecordTicket=4832534b00000004c30193ba54171b1949c34e89b5b4f06c52690010709fa7698940c6402b3159f0

July 2017

VHI LiveWell July Newsletter:

July 2017 Newsletter

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of July.  This webinar is entitled "Embracing Happiness".  Please find flyer attached:

Webinar - Embracing Happiness 

 

June 2017

VHI LiveWell June Newsletter:

June 2017 Newsletter

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of June. This webinar is entitled "Dealing with Depression". Please find attached flyer:

June Webinar - Dealing with Depression

 

May 2017

VHI LiveWell May Newsletter:

 VHI Newsletter May 2017

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of May. This webinar is titled "Release your Stress". Please find attached flyer:

Release your Stress Webinar flyer

 

April 2017

VHI LiveWell April Newsletter:

April 2017 Newsletter

The portal has been updated with this month's pre-recorded webinar and is now located as a spotlight for the month of April. This webinar is titled ''Communicating Effectively at Work''.  Please find attached flyer:

Webinar - Communicating Effectively at Work

 

February 2017

VHI LiveWell Newsletter:

https://vhi--c.eu3.content.force.com/servlet/servlet.EmailAttachmentDownload?q=Gyy%2FhHD6MPWopJwPtaOG5YJBcMo90gESoh3ZpdpKAbfI2xrL6SF7E0BL5%2BUIT4p5Rbbyi%2FmycY9wsYvkjTytDQ%3D%3D

 

November 2016

 

BEING KIND IS GOOD FOR YOU!

What’s all the fuss about kindness these days? Whether we hear the words loving kindness, selflove, compassion, mindfulness or just kindness used in a spiritual or a business context, it’s all saying the same thing. That it pays to be kind.

Many studies show how our health benefits, both physically and mentally. Our happiness and success levels also increase. Another huge pay-off is that our relationships also improve. Yes, its official – being kind is good for us!

With the aim of spreading the news, World Kindness Day is 13th November.

Being kind for some may well mean big gestures of giving, but kindness is something we can all bring more of into our everyday lives. Starting with ourselves is a good place to begin practising kindness. We all know how it feels to give ourselves a hard time – “I could have done better”, “why did I say that?”, “I’m fat/not good enough/etc.” Our self-critical voice is often ready to speak up rather than our self-compassionate voice.

These self-critical thoughts can create anxiety, stress, low self-esteem and perhaps lead to depression if left unchecked. Like anything that we need to learn, self-compassion or loving kindness, is a practise. The good news is that we can train our minds to change the message to a more positive one. How would you speak to a good friend or someone you love?

What advice would you give a friend if they were saying the things that are flying around in your head? Would you speak to someone else the way you speak to yourself? Of course you wouldn’t.

It’s easy to be kind, offering supportive or compassionate words or love to other people, but it’s not so easy to do this for ourselves. How can you begin treating yourself with kindness and compassion? 

Pay attention to your thoughts. Often our negative thoughts are like an auto-pilot reaction, and we don’t even realise we are having them (or so many of them!). Each time a negative thought comes, try just saying “here’s a negative/critical/anxious/difficult thought” – giving it a label, recognising it for what it is, can help it dissolve. This is practising mindfulness. 

Stop torturing yourself. We all know how it feels to give ourselves a hard time – “I could have done better”, “why did I say that? etc”. There is no such thing as perfection! Instead of saying you’re not good enough, commit to improve a particular area of your life or to create healthier habits. The power is in you! 

Managing a difficult thought. There’s a saying I’ve come across a lot in the context of mindfulness, “What we resist persists”. Mindfulness says, “what we accept, transforms”.

When you notice a self-critical or other difficult thought arise, take a few deep breaths into your belly, notice where you feel any tension or sensation in your body. You can place your hand(s) on any part of your body you feel any tension or sensation. You may say “I feel tightness in my chest/belly/throat etc” or whatever it is you feel, wherever you feel it. Then say to yourself a few times “it’s just a worry/stressful/difficult thought”, take another 5 deep breaths. This allows the thought to arise, and to be recognised, with kindness and compassion. It’s easier for it to move on then rather than lead to other stressful thoughts. 

Be your own best friend. Be your own cheerleader. Give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself. So what happens when we start being kinder to ourselves? On a physical level, our biochemistry changes, creating hormones which protect our heart, boost our immune system and regulate our digestive system.

The stress levels in the body which were raised during negative thinking drop back to normal. This in itself makes way for so many body and mind benefits, including better sleep, greater focus and concentration, more energy, and a healthier weight. Emotionally, negative thinking over time can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. Relationships with others are also improved.

Being kind to ourselves, I believe, is the most important place to begin the art of practising kindness. Once we treat ourselves with kindness, it’s so much easier to treat others the same way! Seemingly small acts of kindness towards others can have a huge positive impact on them, as well as on you.

Being kind releases hormones associated with emotional warmth. This literally creates a “feel-good” factor. Offer a word of support to somebody who’s having a hard time, offer to help a colleague who’s struggling with a deadline, phone somebody you haven’t spoken to in a while, send a kind text. The list is endless!

On many levels, being kind to ourselves means a happier, healthier and more successful life.

Article by Kerry White. Kerry is a Yoga Teacher & Shiatsu Therapist and a Vhi Corporate Wellness trainer. Her popular Health & Well-Being sessions & talks combine Desk Yoga, Mindfulness, Stress Management and Shiatsu (self-acupressure points). Kerry applies her expertise in these different mind/body techniques with her corporate experience in the health & medical field. Her sessions equip people with practical tools to help them manage their own health & well-being issues (including backache, headaches, fatigue & stress). Previously, Kerry worked for various large multinational organisations, including nine years at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva.

 

October 2016

 

Did you know?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is a mental affliction that affects tens of millions across the European region. It is an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry, manifesting as an apprehensive expectation about many aspects of daily life.

This excessive worry often interferes with daily life, as individuals typically anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about everyday matters such as health issues, money, death, family problems, friendship problems, interpersonal relationship problems, or work difficulties.

Symptoms of GAD often include a variety of physical symptoms, including fatigue, fidgeting, headaches, nausea, numbness in hands and feet, muscle tension, and many others.

Current available data suggests that about 2% of the adult population in Europe is affected, with GAD being one of the most frequent (up to 10%) of all mental disorders seen in primary care. It can often be the gateway to other serious mental disorders. Globally about 4% of adults are affected at some point in their life.

Unfortunately GAD can be difficult to track and diagnose. Many countries across Europe, especially in the Eastern Block, use different methods for testing and symptoms must be consistent and ongoing, persisting for at least six months, for a formal diagnosis to be made.

Despite the high prevalence of GAD in primary care, its recognition in general practice is still relatively low. GAD is seen in women twice as much as men and can be common in individuals with a history of substance abuse and a family history of the disorder.

Once GAD develops, it can become chronic, but is manageable and eventually curable through a variety of cognitive therapies and medicinal treatments.

For further information on how to seek support if you feel you may be suffering from GAD, or if you are concerned for a loved one or colleague, you can visit the Livewell site below where a range of articles and support materials can be found on GAD and other mental disorders.

www.wellbeing-4life.com

By © LiveWell. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

September 2016

World Suicide Prevention Day - 10th September

https://www.iasp.info/wspd/index.php

 

August 2016

Global Wellness Monthly Newsletter from Optum

http://global-brochure.com/optum/wellnessmonthly/2016/august/pdf/1284_AugustNewsletterFINAL_Eng.pdf

 

 

July 2016

Global Wellness Monthly Newsletter from Optum

http://global-brochure.com/optum/wellnessmonthly/2016/july/pdf/1256_July_GlobalPoster_FINAL.pdf

 

World Hepatitis Day - 28th July 2016

http://www.who.int/campaigns/hepatitis-day/2016/event/en/#.V5HILe3TF9g.email

 

 

June 2016

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – Wednesday June 15th

Elder abuse

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse can be defined as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person". Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

In many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. Until recently, this serious social problem was hidden from the public view and considered mostly a private matter. Even today, elder abuse continues to be a taboo, mostly underestimated and ignored by societies across the world. Evidence is accumulating, however, to indicate that elder abuse is an important public health and societal problem.

Elder abuse is a problem that exists in both developing and developed countries yet is typically underreported globally. Prevalence rates or estimates exist only in selected developed countries - ranging from 1% to 10%. Although the extent of elder mistreatment is unknown, its social and moral significance is obvious. As such, it demands a global multifaceted response, one which focuses on protecting the rights of older persons.

Addressing elder abuse

Approaches to define, detect and address elder abuse need to be placed within a cultural context and considered alongside culturally specific risk factors. For example, in some traditional societies, older widows are subjected to forced marriages while in others, isolated older women are accused of witchcraft.

From a health and social perspectives, unless both primary health care and social service sectors are well equipped to identify and deal with the problem, elder abuse will continue to be underdiagnosed and overlooked.

 

Shooting in Orlando, Florida – Monday 12th June 2016

49 people have died with 53 more injured in what is being described as the worst shooting in recent times in the United States.   

A gunman carrying an assault ri­fle and a handgun opened fire at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Monday June 12th 2016.

The motives for the shooting are still being investigated.

If you have been a­ffected by this incident then contact us for support: Main Number 1800 995 955

 

 

May 2016

With World No Tobacco Day on 31st May, this month's Livewell topics focus on Smoking Cessation. Log on to your LiveWell site at www.well-being-4life.com to find articles and information on quitting smoking.

 

Tobacco Cessation Plan

To stop using tobacco, you have to start by being honest with yourself. Find a chart at https://www.wellbeing-4life.com/member/tools/quitPlan.asp.  (Don't forget your Username for the site is VHIdit).  Filling in the chart isn't a magic formula, but it will get your mind clear about your desires and motivation. And that's an important step. It takes just 15 minutes.

Even if you don't feel ready to stop today, completing the plan will:

  • Help you identify why you want to quit and need to quit
  • Teach you tips that others have used to improve their chances of quitting
  • Explain ways to gradually cut back
  • Make suggestions on how to keep from putting on weight

Lastly, completing the plan will encourage you to set a date for quitting and help make it a date that you will finally keep.

Directions

What you include in your plan is totally up to you. You are the only one who will see it. The program does not save your data. Click the box next to each topic and it will expand, allowing you to include items from that topic in your plan. When you're done, click the "Submit" button and your personalized Tobacco Cessation Plan will display, ready to print and put to use!

Take those 15 minutes and get started. It could one be the smartest and healthiest things you ever do!

 

February 2016

Introducing your EAP service:

http://global-brochure.com/optum/eapvideo/

 

Zika virus

World Health Organisation (WHO) Fact sheet 
Updated February 2016


Key facts

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
  • The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
  • The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Introduction

Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

  • Genre: Flavivirus
  • Vector: Aedes mosquitoes (which usually bite during the morning and late afternoon/evening hours)
  • Reservoir: Unknown
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Signs and Symptoms

The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is not clear, but is likely to be a few days. The symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days.

Potential complications of Zika virus disease

During large outbreaks in French Polynesia and Brazil in 2013 and 2015 respectively, national health authorities reported potential neurological and auto-immune complications of Zika virus disease. Recently in Brazil, local health authorities have observed an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome which coincided with Zika virus infections in the general public, as well as an increase in babies born with microcephaly in northeast Brazil. Agencies investigating the Zika outbreaks are finding an increasing body of evidence about the link between Zika virus and microcephaly. However, more investigation is needed to better understand the relationship between microcephaly in babies and the Zika virus. Other potential causes are also being investigated.

Transmission

Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from theAedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

Zika virus disease outbreaks were reported for the first time from the Pacific in 2007 and 2013 (Yap and French Polynesia, respectively), and in 2015 from the Americas (Brazil and Colombia) and Africa (Cape Verde). In addition, more than 13 countries in the Americas have reported sporadic Zika virus infections indicating rapid geographic expansion of Zika virus.

Diagnosis

Infection with Zika virus may be suspected based on symptoms and recent history (e.g. residence or travel to an area where Zika virus is known to be present). Zika virus diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory testing for the presence of Zika virus RNA in the blood or other body fluids, such as urine or saliva.

Prevention

Mosquitoes and their breeding sites pose a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people.

This can be done by using insect repellent; wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible; using physical barriers such as screens, closed doors and windows; and sleeping under mosquito nets. It is also important to empty, clean or cover containers that can hold water such as buckets, flower pots or tyres, so that places where mosquitoes can breed are removed.

Special attention and help should be given to those who may not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as young children, the sick or elderly.

During outbreaks, health authorities may advise that spraying of insecticides be carried out. Insecticides recommended by the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme may also be used as larvicides to treat relatively large water containers.

Travellers should take the basic precautions described above to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Treatment

Zika virus disease is usually relatively mild and requires no specific treatment. People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicines. If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical care and advice. There is currently no vaccine available.

WHO response

WHO is supporting countries to control Zika virus disease through:

  • Define and prioritize research into Zika virus disease by convening experts and partners.
  • Enhance surveillance of Zika virus and potential complications.
  • Strengthen capacity in risk communication to help countries meet their commitments under the International Health Regulations.
  • Provide training on clinical management, diagnosis and vector control including through a number of WHO Collaborating Centres.
  • Strengthen the capacity of laboratories to detect the virus.
  • Support health authorities to implement vector control strategies aimed at reducing Aedes mosquito populations such as providing larvicide to treat standing water sites that cannot be treated in other ways, such as cleaning, emptying, and covering them.
  • Prepare recommendations for clinical care and follow-up of people with Zika virus, in collaboration with experts and other health agencies.

 

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