PSYCHED Celebration Event 2024 - Workplace Wellbeing Initiatives

The Psyched Recognition Evening took place on Tuesday, 23rd April 2024 in Vertigo Room, Cork County Hall. This event recognises workplaces that value and support the mental well-being of their staff across Cork city, county and in the county of Kerry. The guest speaker for the evening was Leo Ryan from and St Finbarr’s Hospital Campus workplace choir FinFonics performed. Thirty-six workplaces were presented with a Certificate of Psyched Recognition from both the County Mayor and the Lord Mayor of Cork city for their workplace commitment to mental health promotion and well-being. The workplaces are listed below with a very brief overview of their workplace wellbeing activities.

.Apleona Ltd –  received in absentia

·        Employee assistance Programme has been made available to all staff and offers supports to those who need it.

·        Medical Health Advisors are in place and Apleona are working towards ensuring that more staff are aware of their presence.

·        Apleona have demonstrated commitment to improving staff mental health further.


Arema Connet – represented by Katherine Sutton

·        Robust Buddy system in place in Arema Connect, where junior agents are mentored by experienced agents to help further develop their knowledge across all client accounts and further highlight any stresses or issues they may encounter

·        Real commitment to very regular team outings and team lunches – this has  proved to be invaluable in fostering friendships and in the creation of a happier work environment for all

·        Monthly Newsletter ensuring constant communication is maintained with the entire team.

·        All senior managers have an Open door policy.

·        Online Suggestion Box – staff get the opportunity to feed into work systems that are forever evolving.

·        Staff encouraged and supported to attend wellbeing seminars 


BMD & Co. Ltd – represented by Przemyslaw Mamon

·        BMD have now trained eight employees in MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID and with two more to be trained this year, the plan in 2024 is to  introduce a Mental Health First Aider helmet sticker so that they are easily recognisable out on site.. 

·        A Respect Campaign is in place – this promote employees’ right to a discrimination-free environment, this was well received and lent to  employees feeling further valued in the workplace.

·        The HR manager is collaborating with the Lighthouse Club charity to make staff aware of available supports

·        Psyched materials, lessons, training courses are consistently promoted to all staff


Castletownbere Community Hospital – received in absentia

·        Managers have a consistent open door policy for their staff

·        A good work/life balance is promoted in Castletownbere community Hospital

·        Many other events such as gardening, hair and nail care and flower arranging are available to staff in order to improve their wellbeing


City General Hospital, HSE – represented by  Denis Moynihan

·        An “Attitude of Gratitude” Wall was established for staff and clients to say what they are grateful for that day. This ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ wall exists in both the waiting room and in the staff room where staff and clients can write on a sticky note something that they are grateful for that day. This has gone down a treat with both staff and clients (By focusing on gratitude leads to a release of serotonin and dopamine chemicals in the brain that are associated with happiness and pleasure).

·        A warm welcoming email is sent out to all new staff which has greatly reduced employee turnover

·        Staff have coffee/meetings in the outside picnic area 

·        Frequent coffee mornings take place encouraging staff to mingle.


Cork Chamber of Commerce – represented by  Juliet Haykal

·        Staff were gifted with a Gift leave day together with some cupcakes and vouchers to celebrate World Mental Health Day

·        Mental Health First Aid Training

·        Launched a New EAP service provider

·        Launch of wellbeing room for all employees to access whenever they need it.  

·        Hosted meditation on National Workplace wellbeing day

·        Massage Therapist came to office to provide back, neck and should massages to employees free of charge

·        Weekly Chambercare emails for Mental Health Awareness Month in May

·        Teambuilding day


Cork City Council – represented by  Michael Burke

·        Dedicated staff wellbeing web page to share webinars, supports and relevant materials

·        Promotion of Employee Assistance Programme at induction and throughout workplace locations, Fostering Connectivity and Friendships in the workplace through activity clubs eg WalkTober, Cycle clubs, Cork City Council running club, Amateur Dramatics, poetry events, staff sports teams, stitching and knitting groups. Cork City Council organised free health check-ups for staff on an offsite location.

·        2023 saw the establishment of City Council Workplace Choir. This choir was set up to connect staff and retirees. It has helped promote health & wellbeing through social engagement, boosting morale and improving mental wellbeing. The establishment of the workplace choir named “City Hall Singers” showcase the Council’s values of supporting it’s people by promoting culture, heritage, learning, health & wellbeing; showing that the city council engages with its staff.. The choir has helped foster a team spirit and provide a creative outlet for employees. It has encouraged collaboration, enhancing communication skills and has contributed to reducing stress through the joy of singing together. 


Cork City Fire Brigade – received in absentia

·        Established mental health promotion committee

·        Free counselling sessions have been made available to staff and their partners

·        After traumatic events, members of staff make sure to check in on each other and offer each other support


Cork County Council – represented by  Ciara Lynch

·        Campaigns such as the See Change campaign aims to reduce the stigma that still exists around mental ill-health. It is always a challenge and is an area that requires improvement in society in general and Cork County Council is not different. Also, one of Cork County Council staff members generously agreed to speak to our staff at our recent Let’s Talk events. This staff member had experienced mental health issues and spoke to staff about their experience to normalise mental ill-health and assure staff that the EAP service is confidential. Feedback received on this event was particularly positive..

·        We continue to promote ways of improving your mental health and wellbeing through the following; staff bulletins, upload podcasts regarding mental health on our internal Staff Hub, organise initiatives like Marchathon 2023 and Walktober 2023 through the Smarter Travel Initiative, RUN100 with the Irish Heart Foundation, CCC team in Cork City Marathon 2023, Summer series of walks, health initiatives webinars including our first ever Menopause webinar in October 2023, mindfulness classes in our dedicated Health Studio on site.

·        Subsidised health screening has been made available to all staff

·        Staff can avail of 6 free counselling sessions in a year

·        Wellness and Mothering Room is available for staff to recharge


Cork Mental Health Foundation – represented by  Aisling Keane

·        Reviewed and updated policies and procedures that support the well-being of the staff at work.

·        Established a well-being notice board that is updated monthly with different tips/workshops related to health and well-being, employee assistance programme updates, and online webinars.

·        Provide optional supervision for all staff

·        Provide 6 free counselling sessions

·        Have flexible work time

·        Started monthly team meetings

·        Have approved a budget to promote mental health and support the well-being of their staff


Cork North Community Work Department HSE – represented by  Elizabeth O’Riordan

·        We have a relaxation/mindfulness space in the building where staff can engage in weekly yoga sessions; relax on a recliner or just take some time out for themselves away from a busy office. 

·        There is also an outdoor seating area this gives staff the opportunity-when the weather is fine- to take meetings outdoors or enjoy their lunch outside.

·        The Department installed a Staff wellness notice board which includes a picture and info sheet on each staff member who celebrates a birthday in that month. The staff wellness noticeboard is also a way to communicate and connect with staff members as they are not always present in the premises at the same time.

·        Recently the Dept set up a staff mini library- again encouraging staff to take the time to switch off during lunch breaks and get stuck into a good book.


Eye, ear and Throat Hospital Campus – represented by  Sharon O’Sullivan

·        Developed Healthy Campus Toolkit for HSE worksites to promote staff wellbeing

·        Delivers Mind Your Wellbeing training for HSE staff in Cork and Kerry

·        Staff are encouraged to make use of schemes promoting work/life balance

·        The Wellness at Work Committee holds regular Coffee and connect mornings 

·        Regular department Days are had.

·        Workshops are delivered that are beneficial to employees such as bike maintenance/ safety and Christmas Decoration making. 


Hotel Isaacs – represented by  Colette Scarrif-Lalor

·        Firm commitment to upskilling staff and in supplying further career opportunities. Real flexibility offered in rostering around education / training needs and family commitments.

·        Eliminated split shifts and offering in the most part two days off together for staff which has led to staff retention and improvement in job satisfaction

·        Robust Dignity at Work Policy implemented as well as Induction Policy with buddy system in place lending to deeper connections between staff

·        Pride Awareness course attended to support all members of staff



HSE Dementia Care Coordinator Support Service – represented by  Aileen McCarthy

·        Commitment to Regular team meetings to check in on each other, “We are a team and we respect one another and a priority is our wellbeing at work”, this has enabled stronger rapport between colleagues.

·        The motto for this service is to always take 5 minutes to self-care before visiting a client with dementia and to check in with oneself and ones feelings

·        Emphasising self-care before and after client visitations

·        Offering flexible work rosters allows for positive work and home life

·        Staff attended a wellbeing day


HSE St. Patrick’s Day Care Centre – represented by  Cassandra Looby

·        Staff are supported to avail of Occupational health and EAP supports as required. 

·        Staff can participate in Yoga and mindfulness classes

·        Staff health is promoted through initiatives such as Couch to 5k and group walking challenges

·        Regular staff outings outside of work such as Christmas, Easter and  staff birthdays

·        Staff have access to outdoor seating in the garden area to have coffee / lunch etc.


AK Inspired Ability CLG – received in absentia

·        AK Inspired are in the early stages of following the Psyched framework but have displayed a strong commitment to improving mental health in the workplace.

·        Employment Assistance Programme is in place for all staff to access support if needed.

·        There is an onsite HR Administrator to support all staff

·        Inspired are scoping out Mental Health Champion training.


Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery – represented by  Patricia Delaney

·        Pride month celebration to support their employees and make sure the workplace is a safe space for all including activities such as “All in” to allow employees to actively demonstrate support and the “Show Your Pride” initiative to share pride team photos.

·        Collaboration with the Lighthouse Club charity to promote mental health in the construction industry. The charity gave a talk about mental health and promoted their “Help Inside the Hard Hat” 24/7 physical, financial and emotional support line.

·        Employees and contractors look forward to men’s Health Awareness Week each year. This includes physical health check-ups as well as mental health awareness.


Kiernan Electrical – represented by  Rob Boyle

·        Mental Health First Aiders have been trained, which helps employees experiencing mental health problems at work and where necessary assist on what effective route they could take to aid them the best way possible.

·        Access to e-learning modules on promoting wellbeing including topics such as Managing stress, resolving conflict and Banter vs. bullying.

·        Promotion of self-help apps to staff such as sleep and reduction. Employees can also access a construction self-help app that checks in with employees every morning to see how they are doing.


Kingsley Hotel – represented by  Fergal Harte 

·        Town Hall gatherings are help with bimonthly guest speakers educating employees on topics such as nutrition, fitness, sound therapy and Yoga.

·        The Kingsley Hotel will be introducing WOW points where staff can earn points and cash them in for rewards such as afternoon tea or lunch vouchers and days off, etc.

·        Rewards and recognition play a big part in encouraging team morale, such as the Department Employee of the Quarter, the Kingsley Employee of the Year (who go on to represent the Kingsley at the IHF employee awards) and the Kingsley manager of the year. 


Le Chéile School Completion Programme – represented by  Ingrid O’Riordan

·        Le Chéile have committed to regular supervision of work with a psychologist to allow the team to reflect on what they do and support each other

·        Term wellbeing events are scheduled for the team, focusing on team building and recreation

·        A relaxation corner was created in the office to encourage mindful breaks

·        Days are allocated to engage in health promoting activities including good food, good company, getting active and fostering new interests

·        Employees are also supported through flexible working hours, understanding and supporting childcare options, regular team lunches and regular care load management


Mayfield Integrated Community Development CLG – represented by  Alma Casey

·        Team held a Winter Self Care morning to promote wellbeing among the staff which included speakers on self-care, hand massages, singing for the brain, healthy food tasting and potting plants in the community garden.

·        A short mental health course in conjunction with UCC was provided, which all staff were encouraged to attend.

·        At each team meeting, space is included for updates on mental health and wellbeing and looked at ways to promote this such as coffee breaks, lunches to mark birthdays and just a general check-in.

·        The staff are also encouraged to attend any trainings and seminars relating to mental health and wellbeing


Marymount University Hospital and Hospice – represented by  Christine O’Riordan

·        One to one counselling and group work is available to staff since 2021

·        Marymount University Hospital and Hospice is lucky to have an in-house pastoral care team, which is a fantastic underpin to the ethos of staff wellbeing 

·        Staff are made aware of wellbeing talks and health promotion initiatives through email and Marymount’s own in-house social media platform, Work vivo.

·        Staff have opportunities to upskill through an educational programme and cross professional learning is constantly promoted through lunch time learning events and talks.


Mick Whelan Safety Services – represented by  Mick Whelan

·        The company delivered workshops on mental health to various companies

·        A podcast was recorded on mental health in the workplace with RedFM

·        Employees were hired under the Disability Back to Work Scheme to promote inclusion; one employee works 21 hours a week under the leadership of Mick Whelan, having previously been out of work for 10 years

·        Company was shortlisted for the “Best in Cork” award

·        Some of the team took part in the human chain challenge organised by Kerry Mental Health which involved almost 200 people joining hands to show solidarity with those struggling with mental health issues.


PepsiCo Global Concentrate Solutions – represented by  Clodagh Thompson

·        Established HowAREYouDoing? employee mental health awareness/wellbeing programme to provide upweighted mental support. This programme is now offered to all Ireland employees and is constantly evolving over time. Staff are encouraged to attend monthly mental health and wellbeing talks.

·        Staff have access to the MeQ wellness platform to improve resilience in the workplace

·        PepsiCo provides income protection to employees which includes Best Doctors, which offers a 2nd opinion to not just employees but their families, and Family care which offers counselling and psychotherapy services.


Radisson BLU Cork – represented by  Mary Garde

·        Information is provided to staff on the Burnt Chef Project, which is a non-profit enterprise which supports and educates those in the hospitality industry on mental health and mental health issues.

·        Regular HR department Drop-in clinics are available to staff who may be struggling and may require information on the supports that are available to them.

·        Radisson BLU actively promotes and respects the code of the Right to Disconnect to all the team. This improves work/life balance for employees as they don’t have to think about work on their time off.

·        The staff canteen promotes a healthy policy and provides healthy, freshly prepared meals for the whole team.


Shannon Vale Foods – represented by  Emma McCarthy

·        Shannon Vale Foods held employee wellbeing events throughout the year such as a St. Patrick’s Day event with a prize raffle, an Easter event where staff were given Easter eggs and Diversity and Inclusion day where staff were given gift packs recognising the different nationalities in their workplace.

·        Health and Wellbeing newsletter emailed to staff to promote mental health and wellbeing topics such as national bike week, stress awareness month, National workplace wellbeing day and the See Change- green ribbon campaign.

·        They also have an Open-door policy and staff know that they can drop in to the health and Safety Manager, the Health and Safety Supervisor and the HR Manager at any time.


Solace Café – represented by  Breda Richardson

·        Staff engage in mindful practice before and after work, which helps them prepare for the day ahead and unwind at the end of their shift.

·        Staff have access to an Employee assistance Programme to offer them supports if needed 

·        Staff participated in Mental Health First Aid in order to recognise metal health issues in the workplace and support each other when needed.

·        Staff support each other in stressful situations by knowledge and life experiences


St. Finbarr’s Hospital Campus Health and Wellbeing Committee – represented by 
Dr Margaret O’Sullivan

·        Free lunchtime Yoga and Mindfulness sessions are available onsite in the specifically designated Wellness room. This is run by staff, for staff

·        The Staff choir FinFonics meets weekly which is a great way for staff to mingle and have fun with each other outside of work hours.

·        A Walking club was set up for staff to meet on breaks, which is great for their mental health as it allows for relaxed social interaction in an otherwise stressful environment.

·        There is a Staff Communal Bike Scheme on campus for staff who would like to cycle on the campus.


St. Michael’s National School – represented by  Claire O’Neill

·        A formal mentoring programme and associated training was started so staff can support one another

·        Staff leadership attended wellbeing professional development training and shared the lessons with staff to ensure everyone was aware of how to protect their wellbeing.

·        Staff follow the 4 pillars of wellbeing promotion: culture, curriculum, policy, and relationships

·        Continued professional supervision is available to staff should they require it which helps to reduce stress.


Sterling Pharma Solutions – represented by  Anita Ryan

·        €30 off an annual subscription to self-help apps such as Headspace and Calm is offered to employees empowering them to develop good mindfulness practices.

·        Employees can experience the “joy of giving” each year by receiving points which can be redeemed for small tokens of appreciation for colleagues which fosters collaboration and relationships.

·        An Annual Mental Health Awareness campaign is run each October with weekly events supported by the Mental Health First Aiders

·        Staff have access to a calendar of offerings which is aligned with the HSE Health and Wellbeing calendar to promote staff health and wellbeing 


St. Finbarr’s Hospital Department of Public Health – HSE Southwest Staff Health and Wellbeing Committee – represented by  Hugh Duane

·        Established a little library LOVE TO READ STAFF BOOK SWAP for staff to share and enjoy books with one another

·        A monthly staff wellbeing newsletter is published  a “getting to know you” new colleague profiles, fun games such as “guess the work colleague baby photos” and information on available mental health supports

·        The Department ran a World Kindness Event where staff received an anonymous compliment at their desk written by a colleague

·        Photos of places staff love to visit are printed out and displayed on walls to add some nice, personalised decoration to the area.


HSE St. Mary’s Primary Care Centre – represented by  Sinéad O’Brien

·        The Wellness Committee holds monthly events which are not funded, so each department is very creative when thinking of ideas. Some of these included Pancake Tuesday, Easter egg hunts, a Long puc, a picnic on the green and soup lunches.

·        Through the wellness committee, lunchtime Yoga and after work exercise classes are offered to all staff.

·        Staff are also invited to gardening classes and tree plantings by the Community Work department on the campus.

·        Benches were organised with the Community Trust and spread across the campus which provides staff with a nice area to take a break and chat to one another.




St. Stephen’s Hospital Wellness at Work Committee – represented by  Tess Noonan

·        Áit Solais- staff outdoor relaxation garden was opened with a tree planting ceremony and is available to staff for activities such as a quiet space, Yoga or to be at one with nature.

·        A Wellness at Work notice board was established in the Dining Hall for all campus staff, displaying motivating slogans and information on healthy eating. The Gold “Happy Heart at Work” was also awarded to the hospital from the Irish Heart Foundation.

·        A Staff BBQ was held to celebrate the opening of the Áit Solais, which was an opportunity for staff to mingle and renew old friendships as well as receiving good food, music and spot prizes.

·        A bicycle is available to staff to exercise in their downtime under the Staff Cycle Scheme.


Terence MacSwiney Community College – received in absentia

·        Staff have access to mental health workshops through Jigsaw

·        Staff Wellbeing events are held to support employees, as well as whole school wellbeing events. These are important as the more wellbeing is promoted in the school, the more it rubs off on staff.

·        One staff member is trained as a Mental Health First Aider and supports other staff with their mental health and wellbeing.

·        Open conversations regarding mental health are encouraged among staff. This reduction in stigma helps to foster openness around possible mental health issues in the workplace. 


University College Cork – represented by  Susan O’Mahony

·        Employee Assistance Programme is promoted as a key support to all staff

·        Mental wellbeing was featured in monthly series of Staff Wellbeing Activities and covered topics such as suicide prevention and avoiding burnout which was delivered by a mental wellbeing consultant.

·        Guest speakers from mental health organisations were also hosted from Mental Health Ireland and mental health advocate Dessie Fitzgerald also gave a talk to staff.

·        UCC are introducing a range of wellbeing related policies such as a Menopause policy and Right to Disconnect policy as well as Fertility leave and Surrogacy Leave.

·        Initial work on the introduction of a network of Mental Health First Aiders commenced in 2023.


Westgate Foundation – represented by  Martin Burke

·        6 free on-site counselling sessions are available to all staff and 6 follow-on subsidised counselling sessions are available to staff in need

·        A Staff Team Get Together was held which focused on gratitude and acknowledgement for the team

·        There are 2 designated non-managerial members of staff which staff can go to for support without the need to involve management if they do not want to.

·        The Westgate Foundation CEO has an open door policy for all members of staff.