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Barwon Health Relax With Geelong Sings

Chris Scanlon, Mental Health Promotion Officer at Barwon Health took the time to chat about Geelong  Sings and Barwon Health!

When you saw the last choir performance at Barwon Health, what were some of your impressions?
Twenty members of the Geelong Sings choir did a recent lunchtime performance at the Geelong Hospital cafeteria during Mental Health Week (7th – 13th October 2012).

The “Relax in the Café” event was part of the Barwon Mental Health Week program and provided staff with an opportunity to relax, refresh and be entertained during their lunch-time break. The choir included a strong contingent of Barwon Health employees: with participation from a broad range of areas across the organisation.

The performance was well received: with an appreciative and enthusiastic audience. Feedback indicated that staff were impressed with both the quality and calibre of the choir. People found the singing soothing and harmonious. Staff on the level immediately above the cafeteria commented that patients enquired about the singing and found it “very
calming and relaxing”.

Other comments received included: “you could see the happiness on the faces of the choir members” and “Don’t they sing so well together – there must be something in it!”

Both Cafeteria staff and Food Services management are keen to invite the choir back for future events.

In your opinion, what are some of the mental health benefits that can be gained from singing in the choir?
There are evident health benefits to singing including improved breathing, an improved sense of wellbeing and relaxation, greater social connectedness and the value of teamwork and achievement.

What is a direct benefit to your organisation in having members of your staff join the Geelong Sings community choir?
From an organisational perspective participation in community initatives will lead to a healthier workforce, which will impact positively on motivation and worker satisfaction.

Barwon Health encourages further staff members to join the choir and is providing subsidies for membership. The choir practices on a weekly basis: Mondays 5.30pm – 6.45pm at the Deakin University Waterfront Campus.

Thank you again for your time, Chris – we’ll see you at choir soon!

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