Author Archive | Caroline
- 5th March, 2018
- Food For Thought
National Workplace Wellbeing Health Day 2017 took place on Friday 31st March and Suicide or Survive as a leading mental health charity is urged people to make mental wellbeing a priority in the workplace
“We see from our work around the country that many people are struggling to cope at work due to both personal and workplace issues including work pressure, finance, relationships and day to day challenges. Research shows that at any one time 20% of the working age population are struggling with their mental health. At Suicide or Survive we consider this to be a conservative estimate. Mental health has now become the most common cause of workplace absence so it’s a huge issue for both employees and employers” says Caroline McGuigan, the founder and CEO of Suicide or Survive.
“We run wellness workshops in workplaces throughout the country and hear all the time the pressures people are Under. initiatives like National Workplace Wellbeing Day are so important. They help put the spotlight back on what is a huge issue for all of us.”
In the UK, new research from the Institute of Directors shows that over 50% of employers have been approached by employees about mental health challenges but only 14 per cent of companies have a policy in place to deal with the problem. The study also revealed that one in five directors in large companies didn’t know whether they had a policy at all. The number of days taken off due to mental health problems increased 25% year on year according to the UK Office for National Statistics. It states that anxiety, stress, and depression taken together are now the largest reason for workplace absence. It is widely thought that the figures for Ireland are similar. ( Ref http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/mental-health-just-14-per-cent-of-companies-have-formal-policy-in-place-to-deal-with-problem-a7606461.html )
Suicide or Survive run a national workplace wellness programme that reaches small, medium and large size organisations. We have recently partnered with Sky Ireland to reach 1000 of its employees to help them improve their wellbeing, both at home and at work.
“Sky is a huge investor in our people. They are the most important aspect of our organisation and we take their wellbeing very seriously. We know that general wellbeing and mental health challenges are part of everyday life for the population. Things like stress, family pressures, bereavement, addiction – these are aspects of life that can affect us all and it’s vital we support each other in coping and finding support wherever possible. That’s why Sky has partnered with Suicide or Survive, to reach 1000 employees by offering them practical wellness tools and tips. It’s an area we are deeply committed to and see this as part of an overall societal shift towards putting health and happiness at the heart of society. Employers in particular have a huge role to play here.” – said Aoife Ní Mhurchú, head of HR with Sky Ireland.
SOS PRESENT TO GP MEETING – THEORY, PRACTICE OR BOTH
Each year the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) facilitate a number of events for GPs from all over Ireland. One such event is the Annual Winter Meeting. This year the Winter Meeting was held in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone and attracted a GP audience of over 200. The meeting format is made up of a combination of workshops, key note speakers, lively debate and a plenary presentation on an important topic. This year the plenary part of the meeting focused on Mental Health. Suicide of Survive (SOS) were approached and invited to facilitate this one and half hour session.
SOS presentation on mental health and suicide was new, lively, helpful and relevant. The session was divided into subsections with the initial introduction delivered by a very expert Psychologist (Paula Lawlor). This set the scene in an evidence based manner and appealed to the more scientific members of the audience. It was grounded in good solid understanding of key mental health therapeutic approaches.
The second section was facilitated by the very able SOS Facilitator and MC (Robert Carley). This was a lively and entertaining trip into mental health issues and approaches that described typical patients and GPs perspectives. He is a valued advocate for the topic of mental health and is steeped in knowledge and insight.
Following the liveliness of his presentation SOS then changed gear and the CEO (Caroline McGuigan) was interviewed by Robert. The interview was sensitive and honest and the audience got a glimpse into a real life story from someone who has walked the walk. The silent attentive listing from the GP audience was testament to the person talking and respectful to the hurt and experiences shared. This interview brought the academic theory into practice and left the audience with food for thought.
Once again SOS changed approach and now presented some very useful and practical approaches that GPs can use in their everyday practice. The health continuum, for example, is both simple in nature and brilliant in application. The jar for positive motivational thoughts was another simple yet brilliant idea. They presented a number of simple approaches that all GPs can use and were generous in the give-aways to the audience. This included the printed version of the SOS wellness workshop.
An hour and a half presentation to a GP audience of circa 200 is no easy task. SOS presented at a high quality level, spoke directly to their audience, were relevant and evidence based and talked from the heart of the individuals and the organisation. The GPs present spoke very positively about their experience on the day were anxious to meet SOS staff following the presentation and some have followed up with invitations to present to GP trainees and local groups.
The ICGP are very thankful to SOS for facilitating this session and for bringing the topic of Mental Health and of
Suicide into discussions once again. GPs are key workers in this area and following this presentation they feel a lot more competent in talking about mental health and travelling the road with their patients. Of most importance – all GPs who attended got a lot from the presentation for themselves as well as for their professional work.
- 14th November, 2014
The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk aired a very special ‘High Tea & Talk’ programme from the Hudson Bay Hotel in Athlone to help mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2014.
Pat Kenny spoke to families bereaved by suicide, people who had personal experience of attempting suicide and to the Governor of Wheatfield place of detention who have attended Suicide or Survive programmes.
The show explored how to build a society where people experiencing difficulties are treated with dignity & respect. And how with the right support people can go on and have a full and meaningful life.
To listen back to the full show please click on the links below:
Part 1: http://bitly.com/1tMrslE
Part 2: http://bitly.com/Yzf8Z9
Part 3: http://bitly.com/1ovYoYv
Wheatfield Interview http://bit.ly/1sUGRuP (interview starts from 42.53)