Sigmar Recruitment: Mental health in a corporate space

 

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In February 2012, See Change teamed up with our partners at Sigmar Recruitment to run a mental health and employment themed day as part of National Employment Week. Here, Sigmar Recruitment’s Julia Purcell writes about their experience of bringing the subject of mental health problems to the corporate audience;

 

blogBeing on the front line of Ireland’s employment environment, Sigmar Recruitment has a unique viewpoint on workplace matters.  Dealing with both candidates and clients on a daily basis, we hear the opinions and issues both stakeholders have in the work setting.  Our annual initiative “National Employment Week” is a forum focusing on the major social and economic issues surrounding employment in Ireland with ‘Mental Health & Employment’ being one such important issue.

With one in four of us expected to experience a mental health difficulty at some point in our lives and the World Health Organisation estimating that by 2020 depression will be the second greatest cause of disability in the world (IBEC 2012), mental health is clearly a topic of concern for employers.

Our aim for Mental Health and Employment Day 2012 was to bring awareness of mental health issues in the workplace to a new audience and to reduce the stigma attached with mental health.  With See Change as partners the seminar brought speakers from a multiplicity of perspectives to discuss the barriers to employment and the importance of workplace mental health strategies.  With inspiring stories shared by June Shannon and Dil Wickremasinghe and Vodafone, the Gaelic Players Association and IBEC sharing the initiatives they have implemented to tackle the stigma associated with Mental Health, the day was a resounding success.

The feedback we received was overwhelming, between emails, calls and talking to people after the event. The result was that participants were delighted to have mental health issues talked about so openly and constructively.  In particular the initiatives discussed by Natalie Hodgess, Dessie Farrell and Kara McGann provided much food for thought for HR personnel to see what they could implement in their workplace. Also the bravery of June Shannon to share her story with the audience received huge plaudits and reinforced the message that there should not be a stigma attached to mental health issues.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank See Change for their involvement in Mental Health & Employment Day.  The quality of speakers you provided was second to none and the support you provided us in running the day was exceptional.

To sum up, as one attendee wrote, ‘it was an honour to be present at such a transformational and inspirational event’.

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