One Good Workmate: Clíodhna Farrell

April 13th 2018

One Good Workmate: Clíodhna Farrell

This "In Conversation with" piece is specifically for National Workplace Wellbeing Day, introducing a staff member from Jigsaw Meath. We want to capture a little bit about what workplaces do to promote and support wellbeing in the workplace.

What is your role in Jigsaw?Which Hub? How long? 

I am an Occupational Therapist and I work as a clinical support worker at Jigsaw Meath. I have been in this role for nearly nine months.

What have you noticed works well to promote and support wellbeing in the workplace?

In the first instance I feel that the importance of promoting and supporting wellbeing in the workplace to our mental health should be recognised. I have found that it can be a challenging shift to be comfortable with allowing ourselves to priortise the time towards it, especially if you have not been used to it in previous employments.

Within our workplace I’ve noticed simple activities such meeting together as group to have a cup of tea, a chat and usually a laugh can be substantial enough to boost the wellbeing of our team. It is an activity we try to do on a daily basis. In our workplace, a cup of tea has the potential to promote supporting discussions around individual challenges colleagues are engaged with, the opportunity to share information about events/places of interest in the local community, and for us to be become more informed of the individual strengths a colleague brings to the team.

We aim to have scheduled wellbeing activities once a month. These activities could include cooking breakfast in the hub, going out for lunch as a team and doing other group activities such as a cross word together.

Another factor which I’ve noticed is quite significant is having a solution focused approach/culture to challenges we encounter in the workplace.

Have you ever done anything to support the wellbeing of your workmates in the workplace?

I look forward to any well-being activity that is organised, especially if it involves me being able to wear a tracksuit!

I have been praised for cooking up a nice batch of pancakes. I enjoy cooking so it’s nice to have the opportunity to bring that activity to my workplace and enjoy food with others. 

I strive to acknowledge the effort all of my colleagues put into their work and praise them for the great job that they do. I feel feedback is so beneficial in a workplace. It is important to recognise value in the process of what we do in our day to day responsibilities and in the projects we engage with as outcomes may not be always tangible in the short-term.

What is the nicest thing a workmate has done for you in the last year?

My workmates marked my birthday recently with a cake, flowers and chocolates. It was such a lovely surprise and made the day very special for me. 

Jigsaw is the National Centre for Youth Mental Health.What change would you like to see to youth mental health in Ireland?

I have returned to Ireland in the last year after spending a number of years working abroad. I have actually been really impressed on the changes that have already occurred while I have been abroad and I am excited to hear of Jigsaw’s plans for new research to be carried out with young people in the near future.

I hope that Jigsaw can achieve their ambition that more young people in Ireland will have the opportunity to access a Jigsaw service in their community.  I would also like to see school’s being further supported to optimise the mental health and wellbeing of their students.