Samaritans launch mental health workshops for the workplace

The practical workshop aims to help companies build their emotional-support toolkit
Samaritans launch mental health workshops for the workplace

James Cox

Dublin Samaritans has launched a new corporate well-being programme entitled, ‘Learn 2 Listen’ (L2L).

The practical workshop aims to help companies build their emotional-support toolkit, support colleagues who may not be coping and to listen more effectively.

The half-day programme has been developed by trained Dublin Samaritan volunteers to offer key employees the skills and tools needed to recognise the early warning signs of stress, increase awareness of mental health issues in the workplace and practise the key skill of ‘active listening'. Learn 2 Listen has shown to help companies achieve an IBEC KeepWell Mark.

To really hear, Learn 2 Listen

Trained volunteers deliver the workshop, to small groups of employees to ensure that participants are personally supported throughout. Topics covered in the workshop include understanding emotional health, the stress continuum, barriers to listening in the workplace, active listening tools and demonstrations.

The workshops are interactive and experiential involving roleplay with trained Samaritans and colleagues. Participants will witness and experience ‘active listening’ and support techniques from volunteer demonstrations and will get the opportunity to try these new skills in small, supportive breakout groups.

Nicholas Nally, volunteer outreach director with Dublin Samaritans said: “I am delighted that we have successfully launched the Learn 2 Listen programme. This has been developed by a dedicated team of experienced volunteers in the Dublin Samaritans branch. The objective of the workshops is to give managers an increased understanding of mental health support in the workplace and to give them the knowledge and tools to provide emotional support to colleagues. The content of the workshop is based on Samaritan’s extensive body of knowledge and experience in active listening skills gained over the 50 years of the Dublin branch.”

Dublin Bus piloted the L2L project and An Post is 'delighted' to be among the first to sign up for the wellbeing workshops which are taking place in June.

Dublin Bus piloted the L2L project.

Feedback from Dublin Bus employees who attended the pilot workshop was very positive and the company had continued to run the programme.

Vivienne Kavanagh, employee development and equality executive at Dublin Bus said: “There is no doubt that Dublin Samaritans are the experts when it comes to offering that all-important listening ear. The workshops they deliver are authentic and have provided a toolkit for our managers which is beneficial and practical. We know that the volunteers delivering the course are also working on the ground. They've heard every problem imaginable in their 50 years in Ireland.”

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