With over 120 volunteer Healthy Minds Champions across our organisation, each of them brings their own style and process to the role.

Hadi Ishak says he's well-known for being approachable and a smile helps. 

"We spend a lot of time on MicroTeams calls these days," Hadi says. "And I am always smiling on them. I am generally a pretty positive guy."

That attitude serves Hadi well in his volunteer role of Healthy Minds Champion at Ventia.

Along with the other volunteers across Australia and New Zealand, Hadi has undertaken training to help him provide a listening ear and any necessary support to colleagues who may be struggling with something or just need to chat confidentially. 

Hadi says he's noticing people really struggling in the past 18 months, with many of us experiencing a lot of ups and downs in line with the changing situation in our communities from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Constantly having to adapt can be emotionally tiring," Hadi notes. "And when we're not all in an office or at a depot together every day, sometimes we don't notice when one of our mates is struggling."


Geting involved to help others 

Hadi got involved in the Healthy Minds program as he was keen to continue his journey of learning more about mental health and how to manage it and to support others. 

You lose empathy when you only take, so this was something I could do to give back.

Based in Adelaide, Hadi's day job is as Continuous Improvement Manager in our Defence Base Services contract. His role is to bring LEAN processes into the organisation.

"Process efficiencies often bring change, and change can be unsettling. So throughout my career, I have had to be aware of how to manage that through various team settings."

Hadi says he is driven to create safe and non-judgemental spaces, so he's always reaching out to connect with people each day. But he's also finding that he's getting referrals from others for colleagues they are concerned about and asking him to help. 

Everyone knows I am a Healthy Minds Champion.  I have a sign on my desk!

"The easier it is for people to know who to go to for a chat, the more likely they'll open up."   


Hadi says he feels one of the jobs of the Champions is to help people remember that their well-being matters, and most of all, he encourages people to connect with others so they always have a support structure for when times are tough.  

In case you ever forget that tip, every conversation with Hadi finishes with the same instructions: "Stay safe and stay connected."


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Read more about our award winning Healthy Minds Program here