In October last year, Zurich employee ambassadors for the Tackle Your Feelings campaign bravely put themselves in front of their colleagues and the general public to talk openly about their own experiences of dealing with challenges to their mental wellbeing in their personal lives.
Along with other employee ambassadors, over two events for employees in Dublin and Wexford, Noelle Forde and Shane Keating helped to bring the central message of the tackle your feelings campaign to life - that tackling the stigma of talking honestly to friends and family about your mental wellbeing can make a huge difference in overcoming challenges and building mental resilience.
To build on the powerful messages delivered at those events and to mark World Mental Health Awareness Day Zurich is sharing two videos featuring Noelle and Shane, where they talk about the challenges they faced. They also encourage people to reach out for support from friends, family and colleagues for support and to build mental resilience.
The campaign, which was launched across Ireland in March 2016, aims to break down stigma around emotional vulnerability and to inspire people to become more proactive in looking after their mental and emotional wellbeing. Previously, rugby stars including British and Irish Lion, Ireland and Leinster front-row, Jack McGrath; Irish Women's XV international, Hannah Tyrrell and former Irish international flanker, Shane Jennings have come forward to tell their own personal stories of the challenges that they face away from the game and the strategies that they use to overcome them. More recently Ulster rugby players such as Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave and Stuart McCloskey have supported the initiative.
Créde Sheehy-Kelly, Campaign Manager for Tackle Your Feelings at Rugby Players Ireland, says:"We were delighted when the Ulster players indicated that they wanted to get involved in the Tackle Your Feelings campaign. Every player that puts their weight behind this campaign helps us to further spread the message that you don't need to wait until you are feeling under pressure to tackle your mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing is something that we also place a lot of emphasis on at Rugby Players Ireland in terms of providing support services to our members. The leadership shown by those players who have embraced the campaign has had a noticeable impact on breaking down stigma both within the player group and beyond."
Elaine Hayes, Corporate Responsibility spokesperson at Zurich, commented, "At Zurich we have always prided ourselves on our commitment to supporting Zurich employees and to making a difference in our local communities. By partnering with Rugby Players Ireland on the Tackle Your Feelings campaign, we are pleased to play our part in helping to inspire people to take charge of their own mental wellbeing and to equip them with strategies to do so. Through such an effective campaign, we hope to help embed wellbeing into everyone's DNA and help them to be at their best."
About: Tackle Your Feelings (TYF)
Tackle Your Feelings is a three year partnership between Zurich and Rugby Players Ireland (RPI) aimed at encouraging people to take preventative measures to look after and maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing. To hear from the TYF Ambassadors click here and to see how you are feeling across different areas of your life, take the self-awareness test.