DEALING with medical emergencies can take its toll on health professionals, which is why the staff at Wonthaggi Hospital’s Emergency Department took part in R U OK? Day events last week.

R U OK? Day encourages people to ask others how they’re coping and aims to ease the impacts of stress on individuals, ultimately saving lives.

Wonthaggi Hospital senior nurse Catherine Bunn created R U OK? gift bags for staff, full of activities to prompt discussion about mental health.

Ms Bunn also made a display at the Emergency Department entrance to generate discussions and facilitated a COVIDSafe meditation for staff.

Congratulating ED staff, Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said we never know what is happening in someone else’s life.

“Too often, people won’t readily share their struggles for many reasons. By asking, we can create safety to talk about tough feelings and open the door to sharing the mental load,” she said.

“In what was already a high-pressure environment, it is now more challenging to keep us safe from COVID. COVID brings its own challenges that have varying impacts on people’s wellbeing.

Remembering to look after each other, check-in and not leave anyone behind as we navigate the challenges is vitally important and will make sure everyone comes through this together.”