Olympic swimming champion Brooke Hanson OAM has praised the amazing work of Ramsay Health Care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of an inspiring webinar to mark R U OK? Day.
The national day of action encourages Australians to ask friends, family and colleagues R U OK? if someone in their world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.
Ms Hanson told the hundreds of Ramsay staff who joined the webinar, it was important people take time out for themselves and celebrate their small achievements, not only the big ones.
“You have all gone above and beyond during this COVID-19 pandemic and you’ve done so much for our country,” Ms Hanson said.
“You won’t always get credit but know that you are loved and supported by so many Australians and we wouldn’t have gotten through this without you.
“So many times you’ve done fantastic things at work but you may not take time out with colleagues to pat yourselves on the back and say well done. You really need to reach out to each other and celebrate - it can just be as simple as saying ‘hey, well done’.”
Ms Hanson, an Olympic gold and silver medallist, world champion and former world record holder, delivered an inspirational hour-long presentation, where she spoke of the immense challenges she has faced - not only in pursing her sporting dream, but also in her private life, with the loss of her second child Jack at just nine months old.
“There have been times where I haven’t been ok,” the 42 year old said. “I held my son Jack for his last breath and it showed me how precious and short life can be.
“I’d give all my Olympic achievements, all those medals, away if I could have just one more cuddle with my little man. We had to say goodbye to him and that was the saddest day of my life,” Ms Hanson said.
“The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well. We’re all going to struggle with mental health at some point and we all have to conquer and support each other. It’s why R U OK? Day is so important.”
Ms Hanson spoke of the importance of self-love and self-care - which included a healthy diet, exercise and getting plenty of sleep.
“It’s one of those magical things, exercise, healthy living and eating can make a big difference,” she said.
The link to Ms Hanson’s powerful webinar will be available to the Ramsay workforce on the intranet to watch at a time convenient for them.
She has also written a book, When Silver is Gold, with all profits from the sale of each copy donated to Life’s Little Treasures Foundation in memory of her son Jack.