As the end of the year creeps up on us, stress runs high for medical students – exams beckon, and some of us prepare for internship, thrust into the real world of being doctors. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep our mental health in line, and that’s why we have a fantastic Blue Week lined up here at C&W!
I’m sure you’ve all heard that this year we are supporting Berry Street and Lifeline, which are names that may have been dropped in conversation passing by, but what exactly is our money going towards?
Established in 1877, Berry Street is Victoria’s largest independent child and family services organisation. They are committed to making sure that all children are nurtured growing up, can feel safe and work towards a bright future. They focus on strengthening family relationships, and help victims of trauma and abuse in their recovery. Last year, Berry Street helped around 16,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable children, young people and families in Victoria through donations and support that we hope to contribute to this year at C&W.
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Somewhere in Australia there is a new call to Lifeline’s crisis line (13 11 14) every minute. Calls are about suicidal thoughts or attempts, personal crises, anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma and other self-help issues. Lifeline is a national charity that relies on community support.
With that background, we encourage you all to attend our Blue Week events so we can provide support for these worthy organisations, whilst all coming together and taking care of our own mental health. The activities are well under way with our BBQ at the Clayton campus complete and Comedy Night tonight! The rest of the week is set to be a blast, so head to the MUMUS Community & Wellbeing Facebook page and check out our Cocktail Night, Sh’Bam class and Enhancing Mental Health for Medical Students talk. See you all there!
Last Thursday September 8 marked R U OK? Day, where we all took a step back to check in with the people around us, and make sure they’re coping with all the stresses that life can bring.
At the Clayton Campus, C&W joined the initiatives of many other student clubs and societies, hosting a barbecue on the lawns with student musical talent on show.
The R U OK Day Dandenong Celebration was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of mental health, and allow the cohort of students at Dandenong the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves.
We had some great food at the common room party, namely some cool rainbow jelly, quinoa salad and finger food! It was a nice, cosy chill out session.
Our Social Badminton session afterwards was a fantastic opportunity for all of us to finally stretch our legs out from somewhere other than behind a desk and become tachycardic (but the good kind). It was fun to see our friends in action with their badminton racquets.
Overall, the R U OK Day celebration was a really enjoyable day for all of us here at Dandenong!
At Latrobe Regional Hospital, C&W collaborated with Traralgon site representatives to provide the ultimate feel-good feast and a talk by an esteemed Psychiatric Registrar, Dr Lionel Leong. The talk was attended by students from Year 2 all the way to Year 5, with everyone asking each other the all-important question that could save a life: ‘Are you okay?’
Have you seen an abundance of daffodil-coloured bake sales popping up in the months of May and June? The cheery bright colours vaguely reminiscent of Emojis don’t quite seem to match the browns and reds of autumn particularly well. Ever wondered what they were for?
The Cancer Council is an established NGO that works closely with national and international cancer organisations, as well as the Australian Government’s Cancer Australia, providing evidence-based advice to relevant parties. Playing a significant role in cancer research and funding, as well as advocating for improved cancer control policies, they have numerous fundraising initiatives, organised by the community: the Biggest Morning Tea is one such event.
The Biggest Morning Tea is an annual charity event conducted to raise funds for the Cancer Council. It can be anything from a bake sale, to a barbeque, or even a fancy ol’ tea party with top hat and all, bedecked in sunny, bright yellows of the daffodil’s petals. Bright yellow: a symbol of hope. Organised by members of the community, the Biggest Morning Tea simultaneously supports the Cancer Council whilst offering food– and who doesn’t love food?
And thus, as the “Community” and Wellbeing committee, the C&W organised our own Biggest Morning Tea on the 27th of May, 2016, plonked down right in front of 27 Rainforest/Building 15/that one tute building. Three days right before Swot Vac, a week before exams– all the better to feed hungry stomachs and brains.
The event was a success, raising $175 all towards this crucially important cause. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Baker’s Delight, who donated a massive range of bakery goods for our morning tea; and to those of you who baked for us, who helped out on the day, and who purchased food or made a donation!
And what a night it was!
The night was opened on the 4th of April, with MUMUS President Luigi launching the long awaited Get-A-GP Campaign 2.0 – based on the same-name campaign run by AMSA a few years ago. MUMUS C&W were super proud to be able to finally make this resource available, and hope that it will be continually updated through the years and remain a source of support for medical students!
What followed were some great talks by Headspace, A. Prof Clearihan – Associate Dean of Professionalism, Dr Mulyadi – Department of General Practice and Rosie Latimer – C&W’s Mental Health Officer. They covered a range of things – from what causes stress, why medical students are prone to it, how to recognize in ourselves and others and various coping strategies and sources of support. The small-group setting allowed a lot of audience interaction, to produce a more discussion-y feel than lecture-y, which worked great for sharing anecdotes and experiences – proof that good things come in small packages!
The evening helped open up the ongoing conversation C&W wants to encourage this year about the issues we face with mental health and wellbeing, why we face them and what we can collectively do about it!