Hear from leading healthcare experts in Western Sydney and the patients they're treating. Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) provides healthcare to the people of western Sydney at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt, Auburn and Cumberland hospitals.Proudly produced by WSLHD.
Unleashing the power of the mind to overcome lockdown stress
With the COVID-19 lockdown extended through August, many causes of stress and anxiety in our lives right now are beyond our control.
But there is a tool within your control that anyone can harness: mindfulness meditation.
David Johnson introduced the practice to Western Sydney Local Health District staff last year to help manage the additional stress of COVID-19, and he continues his twice-daily sessions for staff online.
In this episode David introduces the concept and takes us through a 15-minute mindfulness meditation session.
WSLHD provides many initiatives to support staff wellbeing including wellness information hubs, manager and team wellness sessions, and counselling through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
If you’re a staff member, find out more at the COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing page.
Surviving lockdown: Survivor uses his mental health experience to help others
Mitch first experienced anxiety and depression as a high school student, and in the years that followed he struggled with suicidal thoughts and post-traumatic stress disorder.
He is now a lived experience peer worker with the Towards Zero Suicides team at Western Sydney Local Health District, meaning he uses his own experience to help others experiencing a suicidal crisis – as he explains on the latest episode of the Western Sydney Health Check podcast.
The program also features an interview with WSLHD Mental Health Services executive director Professor Vlasios Brakoulias, discussing the mental health impact of lockdown.
Help is always available if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health issue:
Lifeline 13 11 14Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800To learn more about mental health services available in western Sydney, call the Mental Health Access Line anytime on 1800 011 511. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000).
Click here for a list of mental health and support services in Western Sydney.
Auburn Hospital emergency doctor becomes Australian Ninja Warrior
We're mad about sport in western Sydney but it still might come as a surprise that there are some extremely talented athletes who work for Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).
Alvina Ng always loved the Ninja Warrior franchise but never imagined she would take on the famed obstacle course known as Mt Midoriyama.
The Auburn Hospital emergency doctor is now the face of the fifth Australian season, featuring on billboards around the country – all because one of the producers noticed her intense upper body workouts on Instagram.
Another one of our health heroes, Kate Murdoch, jokes she’s more comfortable on water than land, but the former Paralympic athlete and WSLHD disability workforce coordinator is clearly no slouch wherever she competes.
She recently made history as the first-of-two vision-impaired athletes to complete the UTA22 – a 22-kilometre race through the Blue Mountains, one of Australia’s hardest trail running courses, incorporating 5,000 steps among other challenges.
Both feature on this week's episode of Western Sydney Health Check!
Emma Watkins- the beloved Yellow Wiggle- and her silent struggle with endometriosis
Emma Watkins is best known as the girl with the bow in hair. The singing, dancing, drumming, Yellow Wiggle delights audiences across the globe with her dazzling warmth and energy.
But what people didn’t realise was behind the scenes, Emma was in serious pain for a long time – silently suffering from a debilitating condition known as endometriosis.
Endometriosis, commonly referred to as “endo”, is a common disease in which the tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body.
More than 830,000 Australian women – over 11 per cent – suffer from endometriosis at some point in their life with the disease often starting in teenagers.
If you have concerns about endometriosis, please contact your GP in the first instance.
Motorcycle crash survivor's road to recovery
Julia can remember looking down at her broken arm, the bone through the skin, as the propeller of the helicopter that carried her to Westmead Hospital for lifesaving surgery whirred to life.
She was riding her motorcycle on Valentine’s Day when she had a head-on collision with a four-wheel-drive, destroying her bike and nearly claiming her life.
Julia was the first patient transferred to the new trauma ward in Westmead Hospital’s Central Acute Services Building, a dedicated unit focused on caring for patients with multiple life-threatening injuries.
“So many people have done so much work to put me back together. For me to be frustrated would be, I don’t know, I think rude on my behalf,” Julia said.
“I’m just very grateful for everything that everyone is doing.”
As part of Patient Experience Week, we also speak to Blacktown Hospital junior doctor Mithila Zaheen about her passion for volunteer work in western Sydney.
The Bangladesh-born Australian was recently named a finalist for Blacktown City Woman of the Year and her family’s roots in western Sydney, and patient care, couldn’t be stronger.
Sharks player Fine Kula on beating brain cancer
From training with the Cronulla Sharks to lying in a hospital bed, Fine Kula’s heroic battle with brain cancer captured hearts across western Sydney, the Shire, and Australia last year.
The rising NRL star was diagnosed with medulloblastoma at the start of 2020, and underwent treatment at Westmead Hospital.
Fine and his oncologist Dr Vivek Bhadri join us on the latest episode of Western Sydney Health Check to share how the 21 year old beat the aggressive medulloblastoma tumour thanks to the expert care and the support of his family, girlfriend, team mates and former school.
After dedicating seven years of his life to football, Fine was forced to give up his dream of playing professionally – but he’s found a new calling in the sport by coaching the Sharks under 17s and under 19 women’s representative teams.
But it’s an incredible result for a young man whose life was touch-and-go at one point last year, as Dr Bhadri revealed in the podcast.
Dr Bhadri reveals how rare Fine’s type of cancer was – making up less than 1% of adult brain tumours.