Fortem Australia is proud to be an official partner of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing is an initiative of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, based on a series of research around the simple things we can do in our lives to boost our wellbeing.
The five ways that have been established are: Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Be Mindful, and Help Others.
They might sound small, but when we incorporate these things into our day-to-day lives, they help to reduce stress and help us experience positive mental health.
Here at Fortem, we use these five elements to inform all our activities and services. This means that everything we offer is evidence-based, and put together in a way that is most likely to increase first responder families’ wellbeing.
Connection is part of almost all our activities, programs and services. We connect families together to strengthen family bonds and resilience, and provide connection with other first responder families in a range of in-person and virtual programs.
For example, in a cooking class first responder families share a meal together, providing the perfect opportunity to chat about shared experiences, get to know each other and form new friendships.
All humans need to connect with others, but sometimes we need to work at it. When we’re struggling or have been through some trauma, many people withdraw from those around them. We offer activities that help bring them back together.
Mental health and physical health are closely linked: moving our bodies through regular exercise helps boost mental health and ability to feel positive about life.
Many of our activities incorporate an active element. This is an effective way of helping first responder families build resilience and wellbeing. You’ll find regular workout sessions and walks, as well as family days that include an element of physical activity are often on offer.
As it turns out, you definitely can teach old dogs new tricks! No matter our age, it’s important for all of us to learn new skills – this helps to boost our self-confidence and helps us find a purpose in our days.
We provide many opportunities to learn. From in-person and virtual classes that range from music lessons to craft workshops (and a whole lot in between), to forums that educate the wider community about the experiences of first responder families.
Mindfulness is the ability to be in the present moment, and it has a range of benefits in building mental fitness. These include greater self-awareness, building resilience, and being able to seek help when needed.
We offer mindfulness classes at times, but also incorporate mindfulness into many of our activities. For example, when you’re learning to surf your mind is focused on that moment and nothing else. While trying to stand up on a surfboard, your worries drift away and it’s only that next wave that matters. This is a great stress-buster.
First responders are known for the ways in which they help others. We encourage acts of kindness as well as self-care to help incorporate this element into our days.
We also work with the wider community – in initiatives like our annual Thank a First Responder Day – to help first responder families.
Keen to know more about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing?