Many factors can contribute to stress in our daily lives such as work, study and much more. The COVID-19 outbreak this year has only amplified the strain for some people. Of the many reactions, stress can generate, it’s not uncommon to experience:

  • Anxiety and persistent worry
  • Fear of returning to work
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling a  lack of control
  • Being isolated and withdrawn
  • Frustration or irritability
  • Denial
  • Physical and psychological symptoms such as racing heart, or low energy or problems with sleep
  • Sadness

To share some tips and information on how to cope with these feelings we welcomed Forensic Psychologist, Luke Broomhall, and Chief Psychiatrist Dr John Brayley. Our industry experts sat down with Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Erma Ranieri to discuss some of the current statistics on Mental Health during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as providing some practical advice on how to manage during these challenging times. During this interview, Mr Broomhall, and Dr Brayley also addressed questions from the public.

If you would like to access a summary of the tips and advice shared during this interview please click here.

This video contains an unedited transcript

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Learn about our speakers

Luke Broomhall


Registered Psychologist with a background in forensic psychology and organisational consulting. Luke provides expert medico-legal reports and testimony in criminal matters and has given evidence in all levels of court South Australia. As a Forensic Psychologist he has worked in the areas of deviant sexual behaviours, violence & aggression, fraud, substance abuse and personality disorders.

Over 15 years, practical experience in Workers Compensation, Employee Assistance Program delivery, Critical Incident Management and Forensic Psychology (particularly personality disorders) has combined to provide Luke with powerful insight into human behaviour in the workplace. Luke has written and delivers workshops aimed at improving the confidence and skills of any leader who manages staff. Managing challenging behaviours, improving employee wellbeing, understanding mental health and preventing burnout all impact on improving workplace performance and productivity.

Dr John Brayley

Chief Psychiatrist
SA Health

John has over 30 years’ experience in public and private healthcare and has worked in leadership roles in the mental health, general health and disability sectors. Past roles include State Director of Mental Health in SA, Public Advocate between 2008 and 2015, and Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Immigration.

He has had the statutory appointment of Chief Psychiatrist since May 2018. During this time the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist has led work responding to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption’s Oakden report, and has developed an active program of unannounced inspections of mental health facilities. The Office has also worked collaboratively with the Mental Health Commission to develop a draft Mental Health Services Plan for South Australia which is currently being considered by Government. The Chief Psychiatrist’s office has function in setting standards, monitoring the sector, developing policy and statewide plans amongst other roles.

Erma Ranieri PSM FIPAA

IPAA SA President, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment
Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment

Appointed on 1 July 2014, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri works passionately towards creating a world-leading public sector that serves South Australians well, does what it says it will do, and to which every public servant is proud to belong.

With the role of the public sector being to serve and support South Australia to thrive, Erma leads sector-wide reform to modernise the public sector and continue to build on its value and service to the South Australian community.

Erma has worked for more than 30 years to help organisations optimise productivity and employee wellbeing. She was named a 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year as SA Winner of the Telstra Community and Government Award for her role in leading transformational change throughout the public sector.

With a key focus on flexibility, diversity and leadership development to ensure the public sector is positioned as an Employer of Choice, Erma continues to challenge cultural and structural barriers to drive innovative, collaborative and connected services for the community.

Event brought to you by

Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment

Released 11 November 2020