CEO Primary Matters – 25 August

General Practice Mental Health Support

With COVID-19 cases again appearing in western Victoria in Geelong and all of us in another lockdown, looking after our mental health as well as our physical wellbeing is of utmost importance.
Just as we need to ensure we get tested if we show any COVID symptoms and book in our COVID vaccination, we need to care for our mental health.

Many GP practices have reached out to WVPHN as staff are feeling increasingly overwhelmed. In response, we have facilitated additional support for people working in general practice in our region. We have done this by extending our own Employee Assistance Program support to those practice staff unable to receive support through other means. More information on this is available in our web article.

As this week is Book Week, it is good to remember that reading is among the many activities that can help maintain good mental health. Among the books I have recently read and couldn’t put down was Jane Harper’s The Dry. This was even though I saw the film which coincidentally was filmed in western Victoria’s own Wimmera region. I certainly recommend it to anyone else looking for some ‘escape time’.

Speech Pathology Week

Also happening this week is Speech Pathology Week with the theme Communication is everyone’s right. With 1.2 million Australians living with communication disability, our speech pathologists have an essential role in helping people with educational, health and social outcomes.

For more information, go to the Speech Pathology Australia website.

Extraordinary General Meeting

A reminder to any Western Victoria PHN members to make sure you are informed about the upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting. The WVPHN Board has unanimously agreed to put to the membership a proposed change to the WVPHN constitution. If the change is approved by members, Directors would be appointed, rather than elected, based on an independent, merit-based process known as a skills matrix. What we are asking of our members is simply to ensure you vote and have your say. For more details, refer to our web article.

Cancer screening

Finally, Daffodil Day is this Friday and is a timely reminder that cancer screening remains one of our most effective tools in preventative health care. Now is the time to make sure you are booked in for your next screening appointment, so we continue to achieve increasing cancer screening rates across our region. And when heading to the supermarket or your local fruit and veg store for your essentials, pick up a bunch of daffodils in support of the Cancer Council.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer