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Tulla employer pioneers staff wellness projects

OVER 400 employees at Beckman Coulter in Tulla, can look forward to adding an extra spring in their step – the company just opened a beautiful 5k nature trail and walkway at its farmland site.

The biomedical device maker is situated on an 85 hectare farm that includes a number of lakes and the ruins of an old castle can be viewed– as well as a walled garden and hardwood forest. The site is also home to bees, bats and a wormery that helps to recycle water.

The walkway was completed in time for World Mental Health Day, last Saturday, and Mental Health Week.

Commenting, Site Director Orlaith Lawler said, “Our engineering and facilities team worked with our Environmental Health and Safety officers to put this in place. It offers all our employees a stunning new amenity where they can enjoy some relaxation, exercise and mindfulness.”

The trail is part of a range of innovative new measures designed to help and support employees who may be experiencing mental health issues and challenges.

Beckman Coulter also has a Mental Health First Responders Team – a group of employees who have been trained by healthcare provider Laya Healthcare to provide initial support and assistance.

The names and contact details of the first responders are published on posters and notices around the Beckman Coulter site. If employees are feeling stressed or have the need to talk, they will have immediate access to a team member.

Each week throughout October, the company will have various activities, events and materials rolled out to raise awareness of Mental Health. These include webinars, live seminars with guest speakers such as Dr Eddie Murphy, self-help material and one on one consultations with psychologists.

In August, Beckman Coulter held a breakfast event in association with a local mental health charity, the Ennis Mental Health Association. A free breakfast was provided to employees and a donation of over €430 was made to the charity.

“As people continue to work on-site and from home, we are adapting our workplace and services – supporting employees’ mental health, we are very conscious that employees may feel isolated under the current restrictions whether on site or not,” Ms Lawlor added.

“The Mental Health First Responders are a mix of managers and other employees. These first responders have gone through several days training to ensure that they are current in their training to ensure support for all employees. Re-fresher training is also provided.

“Wellness is a huge focus for us as a company and ensuring we adapt our engagement and wellness initiatives for both our cohorts on and off-site will be very important for the rest of this year and in 2021.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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