One Good Workmate: Ross Kelly

October 13th 2017

As this week is World Mental Health Week, with 'Wellness in the Workplace' being the theme for 2017, we will be introducing a different staff member in workplaces across County Meath. We want to capture a little bit about what workplaces do to promote and support wellbeing in the workplace.Today's One Good Workmate is Ross Kelly.

Ross Kelly, Youth Advisory Panel, One Good WorkmateWhat company do you work for? How long have you been there?

I work for an Asset Management Company in Dublin – I work in the area of Fund Operations. It is part of my University Degree, Law and Finance in Maynooth, where I get to spend a year working in Industry to build on and develop new skills which will enhance my careers perspectives when I complete University and go out into the working world. 

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

The area of Fund Operations can be extremely stressful, I’m only working here about three months and it feels like three years. I fund it helps when you have a supportive group of people around you – all my colleagues are extremely supportive and we all get on very well, which makes it easier throughout the day.

Everyone is treated as an equal, which is a reason why I like it so much. If I have a problem or am feeling a bit stressed I can go to any one of my Managers and say to him/her I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with the workload they will sit down with me and talk me through everything and generally make me feel that bit better.

As well as this the company has a casual policy – everyone wears casual clothes to work, which really promotes a relaxed work environment and there are no offices – everyone sits around each other which takes away that feeling of a hierarchy which can be a bit unsettling sometimes.  

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

It’s the small things I find are the most the most appreciated by a workmate. When one of my colleagues was feeling a bit down due to a very stressful day I took her out for lunch. Getting out of the office and getting some fresh air and a different surrounding can make a big difference as being stuck in an office for eight hours a day can be very draining.

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

I was having a bad week, a few months ago and I just wasn’t feeling great coming into work. One of my workmates called to me and just asked me was I ok, at first I brushed it off and said “I’m grand” but he asked me again and I told him I wasn’t feeling great. He helped me resolve the problems and it has 100% changed my working life, I am a lot more happier in work now because of this colleague.

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

I would like to see the area of youth mental health to be spoken about more and stop the stigma around it. It should be discussed from primary school as I fell that by the time people have reached secondary school the issue of mental health in youths is too stigmatised.

It is something that should not be stigmatised in any way and everyone and anyone should not feel ashamed to open up about their mental health as holding it in causes more damage than telling someone.