Social enterprise RCS offers free mental health and wellbeing lifeline amid coronavirus crisis


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Companies in North Wales are being urged to take up free wellbeing therapies and support to keep their staff in good mental health during the coronavirus crisis.

Social enterprise RCS is providing online and phone-based services to businesses across the region to help them through the unprecedented pressures and strains caused by the pandemic.

Operational Director Alison Thomas said the support was especially important with tens of thousands of people in North Wales working from home, working in stressful conditions on the front line or on furlough.

RCS is providing free, confidential, one-to-one Covid-19 support sessions via email, phone or Skype to employees across North Wales, including those who are self-employed, to support emotional and mental health.

They can also provide advice and guidance on how to maintain good physical health and wellbeing during the lock-down through healthy eating, exercise and quality sleep.

Small and medium sized businesses can tap into guidance on how to manage staff from a distance, and how to keep their workforce engaged and motivated through regular communication with teams who may have suddenly found themselves working from home, on unusual shifts, or with new roles.

They can access a mental health questionnaire to help them check in with staff, to help spot if someone is struggling or might need individual support.

Businesses can also get advice about how to support the physical wellbeing of their staff, such as best practice guidance on desk set ups for those working from home, and exercises to do at home to maintain a healthy mind and body.

They can also sign up for a regular newsletter with tips such as how to support mental health through stress management techniques and eating well, with a dietician’s guide to boosting the immune system through nutrition.

In the coming weeks, the not-for-profit organisation will be launching a series of wellbeing webinars for small and medium sized businesses to share with their teams free of charge.

These are online versions of RCS’s popular wellbeing workshops, which are now being tailored to cover many of the issues currently affecting the workforce, offering tips and tools on topics such as Motivation and Resilience, Managing Stress, and Sleep.

The organisation’s flagship In Work Support Service is part-funded by European Social Funding through Welsh Government, with services aimed at reducing sickness absence and maintaining a productive workforce.

RCS’s 30-strong team – usually based across two offices in Rhyl and Bangor – are all now working from home, alongside more than 30 professional associates offering expertise across a range of disciplines including life coaches, counsellors, psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, plus HR and financial advisers.

Ms  Thomas urged small and medium sized business owners, employed and self-employed people across North Wales to get in touch if they are in any need of support or reassurance.

She added: “We are living with unprecedented levels of challenge and uncertainty. It is vital that people have access to support to maintain their health and wellbeing through these difficult times.

“Our business leaders and managers are facing a major challenge just in keeping their businesses afloat.  We can help them by providing the emotional wellbeing support their workforce may need, along with some practical tips for staying well at work – at home.

“We know employers want to do their best by their teams, to help staff stay well, and to feel supported, valued and encouraged, and we are here to help them do that.

“We are providing free wellbeing support and therapies over the phone for employees in Conwy, Denbighshire, Anglesey and Gwynedd through our In Work Support Service

“Meanwhile, through our Able Futures programme we can provide wellbeing and coaching support for employees across North Wales.

“Like so many other people our team is now home-based, but we are as passionate and positive as ever about improving lives.  We are actively encouraging any employers in North Wales to get in touch to see how we can help.

“We have moved all of our services to phone and online support so we can continue to help businesses and staff through the crisis.

“Our in-house team and our professional associates are able to help people deal with the emotional impact of social distancing, alongside practical support with HR and employment issues, benefits or debt, housing or mortgage problems.  Our services are person-centred, free and confidential – we can tailor our support to meet people’s needs.   ”

“There is lots of positive practice already happening out there, with employers checking in with their teams using various technologies to run quizzes, happy hours and sing-alongs.

“There are fun and simple ways to show your teams that you are still taking responsibility for their wellbeing, just as if they were in the office.

“Our services will hopefully help people to weather the storm and eventually emerge stronger and more resilient, as individuals and teams.”

People can contact RCS by calling 01745 336442 or emailing hello@rcs-wales.co.uk

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