Managing employee wellbeing and a culture that supports this has become a growing challenge for businesses, particularly in a commercially competitive environment.

As workplace environments change so too does the culture and the way people work. As a steadily growing business, Callida puts a premium on fostering a healthy workplace environment. We believe that to get the best out of our employees we must first invest in them and that means investing in their mental health and wellbeing.

As part of our ongoing commitment to a healthy workplace, we asked Carrie Leeson, Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline Canberra, to share insights on her career and provide some insights and practical advice around self-care in a professional services environment.

Leeson acknowledges that developing a healthy workplace can be a challenge. Making a commitment to enriching company culture with a mental health focus is paramount.“If it weren’t for every volunteer and staff member working hard to build a healthy workplace at Lifeline Canberra, it wouldn’t be what it is today. Our success in culture has been driven by our staff and enabled by our executives.”

Lifeline Canberra acts as a lesson for other organisations eager to improve their workplace environment. Yet, it’s as much about the organisation as it is about an individual’s self-care in the workplace.

Leeson explains self-care is about mindfulness, being aware of where you are and what is happening around you.

“It is your method to ensuring you maintain and boost your own mental wellbeing.”

Leeson notes there are three key practices for self-care:

  • Self-awareness – Being aware of your behaviour and how it may change.
  • Do something about it – If you recognise a change in behaviour, act on it, don’t ignore it.
  • Prevention – What can you do to prevent this in the future? Has there been anything that has worked in the past? How can I avoid this from happening in the future?

She explains “it’s okay to feel lousy when something bad happens”, however, it’s your response that is the most important, “don’t ever ignore a change in your behaviour”. Recognise the change and act on it.

This remains the same for others around you, if you recognise a friend or colleague in need reach out to them.

“Remember it’s probably harder for the person in need to ask for help, than it is for you to ask if they need help.”

If you or someone you know would benefit from speaking to someone, contact Lifeline Canberra today on 13 11 14.

Callida Partner, Cade Brown has been on the Lifeline Canberra Board since 2012. Last year he was elected President, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge in corporate governance, risk management and financial management skills.

Contact Cade at or follow him on twitter @cadebrown123.

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