“In the workplace, it’s the stigma. People can’t talk about their mental health without others assuming they are mentally ill and that their state never changes. In fact they are on a continuum,” says Daniel Flynn.

HSE principal psychologist in Cork, Mr Flynn is calling for promotion of mental wellbeing in the workplace through engagement with PSYCHED, a new awards scheme for workplaces that genuinely make the effort.

The first of its kind in Ireland, and designed to make Cork the first mental health-promoting city, PSYCHED has the support of Cork Chamber of Commerce, which will use its database to make members aware of the scheme and how they can partake. Workplaces whose innovations help improve employee mental wellbeing will be recognised for their efforts at an awards scheme in City Hall next March.

Mr Flynn said PSYCHED was “not just about the Apples and the Googles” but about every workplace, from sole trader to multinational, “encouraging people to make time for each other, take their heads out of phones, make a space to connect as humans”.

“If employees have a better environment to work in, it reduces absenteeism and staff turnover.

“If people are mindful of each other, it can reduce stress.

“Where there is a good work environment and people feel supported, it leads to improved productivity and greater happiness.

“It’s about changing the culture of the organisation, so that employers can see that actually, there are huge benefits to us in promoting better mental health,” Mr Flynn said.

PSYCHED stands for Positive Support You Can Have Every Day and its announcement is timed to coincide with World Mental Health Day tomorrow.

It is an initiative of Cork Healthy Cities, supported by the HSE, University College Cork, and Cork City Council.

For more information see corkhealthycities.com/psyched/  

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