Pulse May 2019 - Page 49

P: What are the first steps a spa should take to create a culture of mental wellbeing? o: i think opening the discussion on what mental wellness is is the most important thing a spa director can do. mental wellness is still something that’s taboo, even in spas—you hear people whisper about it, but it’s rarely discussed openly. and those whispers generate deleterious self-talk around people who may already be fragile. Even just discussing one subject from the white paper will help open that conversation. i think that building empathy around mental wellness is very important. People need to have hope that they can change their life. i’d caution against assessing people’s mental wellbeing unless they have the tools and the support to do that. P: Is that where those protocols will come in? o: absolutely. The protocols we’re working on are all about giving spa professionals the tools they need. Therapists spend all their time caring and being empathetic, which can lead to empathy fatigue. What we want to do is help them as a professional understand their scope—when to manage a situation, and when to maybe step back. We want to offer the guidance they need to feel confident that they know that they’ve done their best professionally, and not crossed over a line or offered bad advice and done anything that could have a negative impact. n QUIcK QUoteS: hometown: “Kilkenny, Ireland.” favorite spa treatment: “Massage.” on a day off she is: “Hiking in the forest, gardening or walking barefoot on the beach with the shorebirds.” favorite color: “Orange.” the last great book she read: “viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning.” What she loves most about spa: “I love the people and the transformative effects of a spa experience on the body, mind and spirit.” MAY ■ PULSE 2019 47