Wellness Day 2: UNA members mark Nurses Week with wellness day focused on mental health, self-care and laughter

United Nurses of Alberta’s second wellness day on May 12 focused on mental health, self-care and laughter.

More than 250 UNA members participated in the daylong Zoom event, which took place during National Nurses Week on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the 19th Century social reformer and statistician who is considered to be the founder of the modern nursing profession.

The wellness day featured speakers Anthony McLean, Big Daddy Tazz and Barb Campbell.

After welcoming remarks by UNA President Heather Smith and Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions President Linda Silas, the speakers shared their skills to help members of the union boost their resiliency, learn relaxation techniques and find new ways to reduce stress. The event followed the success of UNA’s first wellness day, on Jan. 21 this year.

UNA Second Vice-President Cam Westhead, who played a key role in organizing the two wellness days along with UNA’s Executive Board Membership Committee, noted that in 2020 and this year, “UNA Members have been stretched and strained by the pandemic as never before,

“They have risen to the challenge, but that has come at a cost to their mental health,” Westhead said. “UNA’s Wellness Day was aimed at ensuring they know their sacrifices and contributions are valued, providing care to the caregivers and giving them an opportunity to recharge and focus on themselves.

“Given the lively participation and positive feedback, it’s clear this event was needed and that our focus on supporting the wellbeing of Members remains a priority for UNA,” he said.

Speaker Barb Campbell is a UNA member and addictions/recovery coach. Anthony McLean, Registered Nurse and motivational speaker, shared practical coping skills for stress as well as the importance of reaching out for help when we’re struggling. Big Daddy Tazz, who styles himself “the bipolar Buddha,” is a professional comedian who also strives to enlighten, educate and inspire.

Second Wellness Day video now available for UNA members

UNA members can watch the video recording of the second wellness day event and discuss wellness issues with other nurses in UNA Forums. Members will need to create a UNAnet account in order to access the video and chat.