Heart-led wellbeing tool for healthcare workers

6 January 2022

A Melbourne Award-winning fusion of art and science is helping healthcare workers stay mentally safe and prepared while working on the frontline. 

Crafted by filmmakers and clinicians, RMHive has broken down traditional research silos to offer expert coping strategies and light relief through an app that evolves based on community needs. 

Real voices, real people and real experiences are at its core. 

The driving force behind RMHive is Dr Luke Burchill, a proud Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung man and Australia’s first Indigenous cardiologist. 

Working alongside him is creative lead Michelle Joy and Dr Jasmine Poonian, an emergency-department physician with lived experience of working amid the ever-changing reality of COVID-19. 

‘At the beginning of the pandemic, I realised that our clinical training had not mentally prepared us for the challenges to come,’ Luke said.  

‘RMHive is all about responding to this need and provides mental tracking, preparation and coping strategies for frontline health care workers. It’s about rising to the challenge and learning how to take care of yourself, your team and your family in these uncertain times.’ 

We recently crowned RMHive the winner of the Knowledge and Innovation Awards category of the 2021 Melbourne Awards 

The awards are the City of Melbourne’s highest accolade, celebrating inspirational Melburnians who dedicate their time and energy to making this city a world leader. 

‘Winning this award validates the many hours, evenings and weekends we dedicated to listening and responding to Melbourne’s health care workers,’ Luke said.  

‘It also means RMHive will continue to evolve in response to new challenges and concerns being faced by health care workers.’  

RMHive has been featured on Channel 10’s The Project and ABC radio’s This Weekend Life.  

The project’s RESPOND short film series was also selected for Melbourne Knowledge Week 2021, with the world premiere screening to a sold-out audience. 

Looking to the future, RMHive will continue to make an impact beyond COVID-19. 

‘The pandemic has shone a light on the high rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and other mental health complications among diverse frontline health worker communities,’ Luke said. 

‘My hope for the future is for every health care worker to have direct access to mental health and well-being supports tailored to their needs. We, the people of Melbourne, are only as healthy and strong as our health care workers.’ 

To find out more, visit the University of Melbourne RMHive project webpage, or download RMHive on the app store. 

RMHive has four elements: 

  • Mind Coach, which gives expert advice on mental coping strategies 
  • RESPOND, which enables healthcare workers to confidentially share their stories 
  • A Second Opinion, which gives light-hearted relief 
  • My Covid Plan, which features healthcare workers encouraging others to plan for quarantine.

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