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Meet the team tackling stress


So many of us experience stress at one point in our lives and during Mental Health Awareness Week we would like to introduce you to two very important members of staff who are on a mission to support you with your mental health and in managing stress.

Sarah Barnett and Mandy Roberts are ClwydAlyn’s Workplace Wellbeing Specialists, and Mandy and Sarah have been speaking to us about the vital support they provide staff across the organisation.

Mandy Roberts, who was previously one of ClwydAlyn’s Supported Living Coordinators made the move to her new role in February 2022 and has drawn on her years of experience in helping others to now help and support staff.

She highlights how the challenges of the Pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis are having significant effect on staff’s wellbeing.

Mandy said:

“I think because of the Coronavirus everyone is very much stress aware, it plays a significant factor in mental health problems, which include anxiety and depression. Sarah and I support a number of staff confidentially, assisting with personal issues, some on a regular basis and some for a one-off supportive chat.

“We have delivered sessions about self-care, what we can do to support them as Workplace Wellbeing Specialists, signposted to existing external WB and whatsources of support, and are always on the end of the phone for anybody who needs to chat.”

Sarah Barnett leads on the Health and Wellbeing internal support group (HWB), with plans to enhance and develop the role of the group further. Her aim is to create a working environment that offers people the opportunities and encouragement to lead healthy lives and make positive choices to support their wellbeing.

Talking about the group’s purpose, Sarah explained:

“We know that life can be hard at times, and we want to be able to support staff and offer guidance to as many as possible. At its core the HWB is here to help you feel well, healthy, and happy at work, and to do that we offer a variety of online resources that signpost and support you as well as dedicated individuals who are on hand to listen.”

ClwydAlyn values all its staff and residents and recognises the importance of looking after our mental health. We have invested in two licensed Mental Health First Training facilitators, who provide training courses to other members of staff, enabling them to use practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues. They play a supportive role when someone is in distress, and they help develop the interpersonal skills needed to be able to listen.

Mandy added:

“It’s great to see how committed ClwydAlyn is to help those struggling with their mental health, and I’m glad to be able to offer Mental Health First Aid training to staff once again. Maria Evans and I are licenced facilitators, and we see every day the benefits those who are trained bring to the workplace and it’s amazing to see so many members of staff that are eager to be trained.”

ClwydAlyn recognises that there are many different triggers that can impact your mental wellbeing. This could be mental or emotional pressure such as money worries, big changes to your life, overwhelming responsibilities, and experiences of hate or abuse. 

That is why we are leading the way and offer many different things to help those who are struggling. Offering wellbeing and security support to staff following incidents, trauma-focused peer support systems, as well as becoming a Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences Informed Organisation.

Mandy concluded:

“We’re eager to reach out to as many staff as possible this summer and will be visiting schemes and joining as many team meetings as possible to shine a light on mental health and remove the stigma.

“There is a clear link between trauma and stress, and we recognise that it’s important that we address both. Sarah and I are here to help, and we hope that by educating staff we’ll be able to provide the steppingstones needed to recognise the symptoms of stress as well as enable you to identify the opportunities to break the cycle and help you to cope better.”

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