Health and Wellbeing

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Health and Wellbeing

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Links to Community Mental Health Assistance

CDU's EAP Provider is ASSURE

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides access to counselling for all University staff and their immediate family members. The University uses ASSURE for the provision of this service. This service provides confidential, free, short-term (three sessions), counselling services for assistance with issues such as sleep health, lifestyle management, mindfulness, grief and loss, trauma, addiction, relationship and family issues, depression and anxiety, bullying and workplace issues.

ASSURE Services Video



To access ASSURE EAP Services, make an appointment by calling:                             

  • EAP Freecall -  P: 1800 808 374

If you have any other queries contact the University's EAP Coordinator on 08 8946 6592 or email

You can visit the ASSURE home web page for further information on the service.

Helpful links for Mental Health 

The Northern Territory has some Hospitals and community-based mental health organisations, including those indicated by the links provided below:

Medicare Rebates for General Practitioner (GP) referred Psychological Services

To be eligible to receive psychological services under Medicare, a person must be referred by his or her GP and in some instances by another medical specialist. Speak to your GP about your eligibility to claim Medicare benefits and the appropriate treating professional to provide you with a referral. The following links provide more information on this service:

More Links

Black Dog - seeking help

Black Dog - free training for managers

Beyond Blue

Equity Services

CDU Student Equity Services have counselling available. Further information can be found at this link - Counselling.

The CDU School of Psychology

The CDU School of Psychology offers a Clinic that is staffed by intern psychologists who are undertaking advanced postgraduate training in clinical psychology at Casuarina campus. 

Clinic appointments are available Monday to Friday. The clinic is located at CDU’s Casuarina campus, Green 5 (the old CDU Medical Centre). 

Find out more about this service here, or phone - 8946 7176

Preventing Suicide

1. Ask

If you think someone might be suicidal, ask them directly "Are you thinking about suicide?" Don't be afraid to do this, it shows you care and will actually decrease the risk because it shows some is willing to talk about it. Make sure you ask directly and unambigiously.

2. Listen and stay with them

If they say 'yes', they are suicidal, listen to them and allow them to express how they are feeling. Don't leave them alone. Stay with them or get someone else reliable to stay with them.

3. Get help

Get them appropriate help. Call a crisis line like Lifeline 13 11 14 or 000 if life is in danger.If you can get in straight away, visit a GP or psychologist. Even if the danger is not immediate they may need longer term support for the issues  that led them to feeling this way.

More information and resources can be found at Lifeline and Beyond Blue.

Workers Compensation and Return to Work

Charles Darwin University (CDU) encourages early return to full employment as soon as practicable following an injury or illness. Where possible and appropriate, CDU provides suitable duties during the staff members recovery from injury / illness. This procedure provides the framework for the safe and early return to work for both work and non-work related, injured / ill staff, across all Charles Darwin University (CDU) Workplaces in compliance to the Return to Work Act 2016 (NT) and Return to Work Regulation 2016 (NT) that applies to work related injuries and illnesses.

Injury management, Workers Compensation and Return to Work Procedure

Workers Compenstion (work-related) Injury Information Forms (forms required to take to Doctor in event of  work related Injury/Illness)

Non-work related Injury Information Forms (forms required to take to Doctor in event of  non-work related Injury/Illness)

Workplace Injury Rehabilitation Presentation

For further assistance contact your Supervisor or the IMC (Injury Management Coordinator) on 08 8946 7039 or at

Workstation Ergonomics

Workstation ergonomics and self-setup is a compulsory learning module at CDU. CDU encourages staff to regularly revisit the Ergonomic Workstation Presentation and the Self Setup Guide.

The Self Setup Guide will guide the user step by step through the workstation setup process and should be reviewed annually at a minimum, with any changes to any aspect of your workstation setup, and with any discomfort experienced. 

The associated and Self-Assessment Tool is similar to the setup guide, however allows you to move straight to the section best describing any discomfort you may be experiencing e.g. shoulder, or neck, etc.  It is useful for a quick check on specific areas.  

An individual Ergonomic Workstation Assessment may be arranged as required on completion of the learning module and self-setup. On submission of the form, a member of the Health and Wellbeing Team will contact you to arrange an appointment. The Health and Wellbeing team have a limited loan library of ergonomic equipment that we can lend out for trial.  It is important to ensure that not only the correct equipment is purchased, and that it is used in the correct way. As such contacting the Health and Wellbeing Team for advice can ensure that equipment purchased does not exacerbate or replace one risk with another.

See: Ergonomic forms and tools available to download below:

Hazardous Manual Tasks / Manual Handling

Hazardous Manual Tasks, commonly known as Manual Handling, are a common component of most workplaces and involve  carrying out some type of manual task using the body to move or hold an object, people or animals. Manual tasks cover a wide range of activities including workshop activities, field research/work, driving and office / computer work. Some manual tasks, if not appropriately managed, can be hazardous and may cause musculoskeletal injuries or disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common workplace injuries across Australia.

The Hazardous Manual Tasks Procedure provides a framework to facilitate the legislative requirement of a “safe place of work” through the provision of processes to facilitate the identification and mitigation of potential health risks attributable to hazardous manual tasks.

The Hazardous Manual Tasks Identification Worksheet can assist in identifying and formalising potentially hazardous manual tasks, whilst the Hazardous Manual Tasks Risk Assessment Worksheet can assist in determining the hazardous components of the potentially hazardous tasks.

First Aid Management


Charles Darwin University (CDU) conducts a large variety of activities (e.g. classroom, office, grounds maintenance, work / research, sports and fitness instruction, workshop activities, promotion events, etc.) across a diversity of geographical locations (national and international). To ensure the health and safety of CDU employees working across this large variety of activities and locations, adequate planning and management of first aid requirements is required to meet legislative and risk based obligations.

The First Aid Management Procedure provides guidance on meeting legislative requirements using a risk management approach to tailor first aid that suits the circumstances of each workplace. In addition, it provides guidance on the number of first aid kits, their contents and the number of trained first aiders that are appropriate for some types of workplaces.

The First Aid Inspection Checklist provides a method of measuring your compliance with these legislative requirements.

Fitness for Work

Fatigue Management

Fitness for Work (FFW) means that an individual is in a state (physical and psychological) which enables the person to perform assigned tasks competently, and in a manner, which does not compromise or threaten their safety and/or the safety of others. Factors that have potential to impact fitness for work include fatigue, stress, medical fitness for the inherent job requirements, alcohol and other drugs, working in heat and injury rehabilitation and return to work. 

The Fitness for Work Procedure facilitates a safe, healthy and productive workplace through the mitigation of health risks to personnel associated with their own, or others fitness for work. 

The Fitness for Work Assessment may assist where there is a concern about an individual's Fitness for Work. It provides a guide to assess an individual that may not be fit for work due to being adversely affected by medical condition, fatigue, liquor and or other drugs.

The Fatigue Management Procedure supports the Fitness for Work Procedure, and provides guidance to facilitate a safe, healthy and productive workplace through the mitigation of health risks to employees associated with their own, or others fitness for work. Fatigue can decrease performance and productivity in the workplace and can increase the potential for incidents and in juries to occur. 

Occupational Health and Hygiene

The Occupational Health Procedure provides an overview of Occupational Health Management at Charles Darwin University that facilitate the provision of a safe place of work.

Occupational Health encompasses a broad range of activities, based on inherent job requirements and may include fitness for work (medicals, health surveillance, fatigue, stress, alcohol and other drugs), hazardous manual tasks, working in heat, first aid management, business travel, occupational vaccines, amenities and facilities, smoking policy, accomodation facilities and health promotion (lifestyle and wellness).

The Occupational Hygiene Procedure provides guidance to manage the exposure to hazardous agents and stressors in the workplace to minimise any  potential risk to health. Health hazards that may be applicable to specific workplaces may include chemical hazards (solids, dusts, fumes, liquids, mists, vapours), physical hazards (noise ionising and non ionising radiation, vibration, pressure, hot work), biological hazards (potable water, legionella, ventilation, sewerage, vector control, flora and fauna) and ergonomic hazards (hazardous manual tasks, operation of plant and machinery, computer workstation setup).

Living Smoke Free

Thinking about living a smoke free life? It's never too late to quit.

For information and resources on how to get started please click here.

Healthy Sleep

Sleeping well makes us feel better, more alert, energetic, and better able to concentrate and perform our daily tasks. Getting enough sleep each day is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing and to reduce your risk for ill-health.  We have all heard the old proverb, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

It is well known that sleep is an important biological function essential for life. While we sleep many important functions take place that help the body in physical recovery and repair, support brain development, cardiac function and body metabolism, as well as support learning, improving memory and mood. 

Without enough sleep we are more likely to have problems with thinking, concentration, memory, reaction times and mood, all of which make it harder to perform our daily tasks and increase the risks of mistakes and accidents. Regular insufficient or poor sleep contributes to long-term health problems such as:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Poor mental health

Along with nutrition and exercise, sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy sleep improves your health and quality of life in a variety of ways:

Healthy sleep is vital for your physical health - It promotes peak performance and productivity. It also helps you fight off infection, maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic diseases. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to have heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Healthy sleep is essential for your mental health - Healthy sleep helps you to balance your mood and emotions. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression.

Healthy sleep improves your memory and focus - It sharpens your mind so that you can think clearly. Sleep helps you excel at school and work. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to be forgetful and make mistakes.

Healthy sleep promotes personal and public safety - It keeps you alert and helps you to react quickly. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to have an accident while driving or at work.

Healthy sleep involves making the right choices to prioritize and protect sleep. Here are three keys to achieving and maintaining healthy sleep:

Quantity - Most adults need at least 7 hours of nightly sleep for optimal health and productivity. Some people need more sleep to feel well-rested. Set a regular bedtime that is early enough for you to get a full night of sleep.

Quality - Getting good sleep is important, too. Sleeping 7 hours each night isn’t enough: You also need quality sleep. Avoid common sleep disrupters in the evening. These include alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Talk to your doctor if you are taking a medication that disturbs your sleep. 

Regularity - It also is important to sleep at the right time. Healthy sleep is part of the daily rhythm of life. Your body sleeps best at night when it is dark. It also functions best when you keep a regular routine. Try to wake up at the same time every morning, and go to bed when you feel sleepy.

The quantity, quality and regularity of your sleep can be disrupted if you have a sleep disorder. Talk to your doctor if you have an ongoing problem that prevents you from sleeping well.

Your behaviors during the day, and especially before bedtime, can have a major impact on your sleep. They can promote healthy sleep or contribute to sleeplessness. 

Your daily routines – what you eat and drink, the medications you take, how you schedule your days and how you choose to spend your evenings – can significantly impact your quality of sleep. Even a few slight adjustments can, in some cases, mean the difference between sound sleep and a restless night.  

The Australian Sleep Health Foundation provides a number of fact sheets about sleep related topics in both children and adults and covering a wide range of issues and conditions, as well as good sleep tips.

Healthy Eating

'Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food'. Hippocrates (460-370BC). The links between food and health have long being recognised.

So what is healthy eating?

Broadly speaking it means eating in a way that:
  • our weight remains normal and stable
  • contains the necessary food groups, vitamins and minerals
  • eating is an enjoyable experience 
Benefits of eating well include:
  • improve mental health
  • more consistent energy levels
  • stable blood sugar levels
  • improved sense of wellbeing
  • lowers blood cholesterol
  • reduced stress
  • risk reduction of some types of medical conditions - diabetes type 2, cardio-vascular disease
  • weight control

A few healthy eating tips:

  • Mind your Mind: Your mind and your attitude are your most powerful tools to manage your mood and your food. Focus on your success and congratulate yourself for taking positive steps (n any area). Remember each meal and snack is another opportunity to make a positive, healthy choice.
  • Skip the Fads: Fad diets and restrictive eating prevent you from getting the nutrients you need for good health and wellbeing, and they are hard to stick to over the long term. Focus on healthy eating rather than dieting.

  • Watch out for Portion Distortion: Before eating or drinking, look at the amount. Overeating or drinking can leave youfeeling sluggish and the excess can add extra kilos. Eat slowly and mindfully.

  • Focus on Eating Regularly: Eating well involves eating regularly throughout the day, eating when you are hungry, eating mindfully (so you're aware of what you're eating and how you're feeling), eating until you're satisfied (but not stuffed full!), and choosing healthy foods.

  • Snack Smart: Skipping meals of snacks leaves you running on empty, and feeling irritable and tired. If you feel hungry between meals, try healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, wholegrain crackers, a hard boiled egg or a handful of nuts.

  • Clear Fluids for a Clear Mind: Swap sugar laden soft drinks for water to reduce excess kilojoules. Drinking enough water can help you feel fuller and more alert. Too much caffiene can make you anxious and jittery. Limiting cafffeniated drinks may help you relax, sleep and feel calmer.

  • Start with the Right Fuel: Kick start your day with a healthy breakfast, no matter what time of day you get up. This will help you think clearer, improve your concentration, give you more enregy and make you less likely to overeat later in the day.

  • Sleep fro Brighter Moods and Better Choices: People who are tired and don't get enough sleep are more likely to overeat and make unhealthy choices. Eo yourself a favour and get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

  • Celebrate your Sucesses: Celebrate your successes and reward yourself (with non food rewards). If you have an incentive our're more likely to persevere. Choose rewards that motivate you, make you feel good and are a little indulgence just for you.

Some links to help you on your way to Health Eating

A few notes on Water

  • 50-80% of body mass
  • required for digestion, absorption, transportation, dissolving nutrients, elimination of wastes and thermoregulation
  • a 2% loss of body weight due to dehydration can be linked to kidney stones, urinary tract cancers, colon cancer, mitral valve (heart) valve prolapse and poor oral health
  • requirements vary widely according to environmental conditions, physical activity and individual metabolism - aim to drink enough for light straw coloured urine

A few notes on Alcohol

  • high in kilojoules
  • leads to weight gain
  • nutrient poor
  • damages liver and brain
  • increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease
  • linked with some cancers
Tip: Take it slow; take your time, chat and make the night revolve around the company of your friends or colleagues - not the drinks. Missing the second round of drinks saves you 500KJ.

Healthy Exercise

People who are NOT physically active are twice as likely to die from health diseases as those who are active'. (  

So what is healthy exercise?

30 minutes of moderate intensity physical exercise is recommended on most (preferably all!) days of the week

Benefits of being active include:

  • improved sleep
  • improved sense of wellbeing, self esteem and confidence
  • improve mood and mental health
  • boosts immune system
  • improved energy levels
  • lowers blood sugar and cholesterol
  • reduces stress, assists relaxation
  • lowers blood pressure
  • helps build strong bones and muscles
  • risk reduction of some types of medical conditions - heart diseases, cancers, type 2diabetes, 
  • weight control
  • creates opportunities for family fun and socialising

A few tips on increasing activity and exercise:

Do what you find enjoyable - if it is fun you will keep it up!
  • What activities do you enjoy?
  • Do you prefer group or individual activities?
  • Do you have a medical condition that may put you at risk? Check with your GP and get a plan.
Be Comfortable
  • Choose comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Choose a location you find calming and energising e.g. home, scenic path, park, beach
  • Too hot /  cold /  wet? Use a treadmill or the steps!
Make a plan / routine - keep track
  • schedule exercise into your diary like any other meeting or event
  • Set some short and long term goals and write them down
  • Keep a log or exercise diary and increase slowly - any increase is an improvement
  • Use your pedometer or fit bit - aim for a minimum of 10 000 steps a day
Reward Yourself
  • Part of the reward is how much better you feel afterwards
  • It may help to promise yourself a special treat e.g. massage, movie
Aim for 10 000 Steps!
  • Walk during your lunch break
  • Park further away or jump off the bus a stop early
  • Take the stairs
  • Buddy up with a friend
  • Try to make it a routine so it becomes a habit
  • Condiser a little variety, alternate with other activities to keep the interest up
  • Plan activity into your schedule
  • Take your water bottle and keep hydrated
Sit less, move more at work
  • Stand during phone calls
  • Stand to greet visitors
  • Walk to fill your water bottle, pick up priniting, put your rubbish in a central bin
  • Walk during lunch breaks
  • Take the stairs 
  • Walk to see that colleague rather than sending a email
  • Have standing or walking meetings
Move more at home - ditch the couch potato persona
  • Wash your car by hand
  • Walk around during TV adds e.g get a glass of water, practice dance steps, stretch, weights, step up and down on a small step
  • Do chores whilst watching TV - fold the washing, ironing, etc
  • Mow the lawn, weeding, plant a vegetable garden
  • Walk the dog
  • Play with the kids or fur babies - back yard or park - ball, frisbee, swings, etc
  • Weekends - canoeing, swiming, camping, hiking, beach cricket, etc
Some links to help you increase your activity
A few notes on Water - hydration is closely related to fatigue, irritability and muscle injury - make sure you hydrate well before, during and after exercise


Alcohol plays a significant role in the Australian culture through socialisation and celebrations.

Alcohol usually refers to drinks such as beer, wine or spirits containing ethyl alcohol - a substance that that can cause drunkedness and changes in consciousness, mood and emotions. 

Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to the risk of short term injury and long term disease and disability.

Guidelines recommend no more than 2 standard drinks per day, with at least 2 alcohol free days per week.

Short term risks of excessive alcohol consumption
  • Risk-taking behaviour, impaired judgement and reaction time
  • Falls, injury and death
  • Alcohol posioning
  • Gut irritation and diarrhoea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sexual problems
Long term risks of excessive alcohol consumption
  • Cancer (mouth, throat, breast, oesphagous, colorectal)
  • Liver disease and cirrhosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Mental illness
  • Brain damageand memory loss
  • Alcohol dependance
  • Weight gain
  • Risk of peripheral neuropathy, cardiomyopathy and male impotence
Some links for further information 
Where to go for help

Domestic Violence

The prevalence of violence against women in Australia is demonstrated by the following statistics:

  • 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
  • 1 in 2 women has experienced sexual harassment during her lifetime
  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner
  • Almost 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while temporarily separated
  • 1 in 6 women experienced stalking since the age of 15 
  • 1 in 6 women experienced abuse before the age of 15
  • Intimate partner violence is a leading contributor to illness, disability and premature death for women aged 18-44
  • 1 in 4 young people think it’s pretty normal for guys to pressure girls into sex
  • 1 in 5 students have been sexually harassed in a university setting
  • 1 in 4 young people don’t think it’s serious when guys insult or verbally harass girls in the street
  • Violence against women is estimated to cost the Australian economy $22 billion a year
  • Indigenous women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than non-indigenous women
  • Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and their children
  • Most women leaving a violent relationship move out of their home
  • Women seeking support for partner violence are most likely to ask friends or family for help

The Australian Government has a Stop it at the Start Campaign that provides additional information and resources. It is aimed at breaking the cycle of violence by encouraging adults to reflect on their attitudes, and have conversations with young peopleabout respect. 

Clip 1 Museum 
Clip 2 Detention
Clip 3 Yarning with Lani
Clip 4 Parenting with Dr Justin Coulsen

The site also provides links to local support services for those who are at risk or need help.

What does this mean for the workplace?  What can workplaces do to support the victim and to end men’s violence against women?

Workplaces have an important role to play in ending men’s violence against women and supporting women experiencing or escaping violence. November 26 is White Ribbon Day which is Australia’s national day for raising awareness of men’s violence against women and how to prevent it in our community. The White Ribbon Organisation provides criteria to create a safer and more respectful workplace to assist in stopping violence against women.

For many women experiencing domestic violence, abuse or control, the workplace provides a space and network away from the abuser. It is important that workplaces understand violence against women, so that these women can stay in work and so workplaces can help them access the support they need.

Workplaces can:

  • address the underlying causes of men’s violence against women by promoting gender equality
  • create a culture that supports women to disclose their experiences of violence, including referring women to appropriate support services and offering domestic violence leave
  • create a zero-tolerance environment that responds to sexual harassment in the workplace and holds perpetrators to account
  • provide information to employees on what to do when they see or hear about violence, abuse or harassment
  • offer flexible work arrangements and critically examine the different roles men and women play in the workplace
  • provide a source of income and financial independence, especially if a woman decides to leave the abusive relationship
  • provide awareness for workers so they know how to respond to a colleague if they raise commonly held myths such as “women should just leave abusive relationships” or “men’s violence against women is caused by men using drugs and alcohol”. 

White Ribbon has a great fact sheet on these myths, the reality and what can be said in response.


CDU's Employee Assistance Program page provides details of how to obtain assistance under this scheme as well as a link to community resources that can assist with victims of domestic violence.