Luenne’s career has taken her from the hotel quarantine program to Mental Health staff psychologist

Metro North advanced staff psychologist Luenne Zielke.

Metro North advanced staff psychologist Luenne Zielke.

Advanced staff psychologist Luenne Zielke provides psychological services to staff in the mental health directorate, corporate services as well as Metro North’s Peer Responders.

Luenne has had an interesting career, including working in the COVID-19 hotel quarantine program, where she provided support to people during their quarantine period.

“In the early days we were meeting people returning to Australia at the airport in hazmat suits. Hotel quarantine was a very isolating experience for many people, so it was important they had adequate psychological support,” Luenne said.

Luenne knows the unique challenges faced by staff working in the mental health directorate as she herself worked as a psychologist for the Metro North Inner North Brisbane Acute Care Team for three years.

“Having worked ‘at the coalface’ has provided me with an insight into the specific pressures that staff can face and how they can be impacted by workplace stresses,” she said.

“My current role as staff psychologist is very varied and can involve providing one-on-one support, team support as well as critical debriefing. I also work with teams to enhance their culture and put together bespoke team wellbeing workshops.

“It is rewarding to be able to support someone through a tough time and I enjoy being part of Metro North, one of biggest hospital and health services in the southern hemisphere.”

Luenne explains that providing support to staff in the mental health field, some of whom have psychological qualifications themselves, requires a particular approach.

“Despite knowing the importance of seeking help for mental health issues, staff can still have a very stoic approach to their own mental health, believing they should ‘get on with it’,” she said.

“It’s important for staff to recognise that everyone’s window of tolerance is different and can be affected by their background and what else is happening in their world at that time. It is OK not to be OK.

“Confidentiality is paramount whoever I work with, but it is particularly important for staff in the mental health directorate to feel that if they do reach out for assistance it remains confidential. I take particular care, for example, to meet with staff in a space where their confidentiality can be always maintained.

“I think one of the main misconceptions about accessing the staff psychology service is that it involves a long commitment. It is actually a short-term service – I provide individuals with up to three psychology sessions and many staff find they only need one session. If a staff member required more than three sessions, I can work with them to find additional, ongoing support such as through TELUS, the employee assistance program.”

When not at work, Luenne enjoys Thai and Moroccan cooking and gardening. She is currently landscaping the garden for her new house.

“It is such a wonderful opportunity to plan a whole garden from scratch. The garden will be a lush, sub-tropical style including some of my favourite plants heliconias, monstera, bromeliads and succulents,” she said.

Luenne is also currently in training for an eight-day hiking trip with her husband to the French Alps.

2024-06-05T15:45:27+10:003 June 2024|
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