During the pandemic, a cohort of 1,000 Irish people was surveyed during initial restrictions in March 2020. 41% of respondents reported feeling lonely, 23% reported clinically significant depression and 20% reported clinically significant anxiety.
Nine out of ten Irish people also indicated they had been affected by mental health challenges; either their own health concerns or problems faced by family members, friends, or co-workers. With stark figures like these and a growing awareness of the prevalence of these issues, Seetec’s award-winning Health and Wellness group was launched in October 2021.
Seetec’s Health and Well-Being Team
The Wellness team includes Paul Ennis, Joanna McWeeney, Louise Purtill, Sophie Finglas, Sarah Sheehan, Jean Browne and Ashley Behan. This dedicated collective launched a wealth of online activities for their Seetec colleagues: Mindfulness, gratitude, healthy eating and exercise challenges to name a few.
However, what this team really offered us was a chance to come together and foster a sense of meaningful connection at a time when we needed it most. We caught up with the Wellness group to get their thoughts on what impact their activities had over the restrictions and what their plans are.
Paul Ennis – Employment Advisor
“Seetec Irelands Wellness group has just begun, and big things are on the horizon! In the immediate future, our top priority is to ensure that we have enough staff who are fully equipped with the resources to best support their colleague’s well-being. Although management already completed Mental Health First Aid training, we’ll be conducting a refresher course and training up the entire Wellness team also during the Summer.
“Long term, we hope to further embed a culture of Workplace Wellbeing across the entire organisation. As an employee-owned business, it’s imperative that we practise what we preach – we support our clients in overcoming barriers every day so it’s central we support ourselves and colleagues to do the same in everyday life.”
Jean Brown – Operations Excellence Specialist
“I believe there is complete recognition within Seetec that the nature of our work involves promoting the growth of others. Creating a culture that holds wellbeing in high value and strives to connect us in meaningful ways, communicates that we are seen, heard, and valued and this has a powerful impact on our clients. A common denominator in many of the compliments we receive from our clients is about how our employment advisors made them feel. When we feel well, we do well. Wellbeing is at the heart of any successful business.”
Sarah Sheehan – Business Manager
“The feedback I have received in the past two years has been so positive – our colleagues are feeling understood, they know they are being listened to and feel valued. Our organisation’s ongoing focus on health and well-being also saw Seetec being awarded A Great Place to Work certification in 2021.
“The Wellness team has given our colleagues a safe place, to know that it’s OK to not be OK sometimes. When those feelings come to light, the resources and support are there for them. We know our colleagues are behind us every step of the way no matter what challenges we face.”
Sophie Finglas – HR Business Partner
“Most recently we have partnered with Laya Healthcare to deliver our new Employee Assistance Programme to our colleagues and their families. This new version now includes 24/7 support services, increased company paid counselling sessions, an online EAP portal inclusive of nutritional courses and meditation sessions as well as live gym sessions and weekly wellbeing webinars.
“The Mental Health First Aid that Paul mentioned earlier is a training program run by Mental Health Ireland that teaches members of the public how to help a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.
“At Seetec, leading with compassion means acknowledging people’s mental health struggles in the modern world. Training our staff to identify and assist colleagues undergoing mental health struggles ensures our staff feel safe and supported by us. I also believe efforts like this go a long way to destigmatising mental health issues.”
If you are currently undergoing any mental health issues, there is a list of support services you can contact here on Mental Health Ireland’s support services page.