Tackle Your Feelings

Tackle your Feelings is Zurich Ireland's community investment initiative, run in partnership with the Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA). It aims to reduce the stigma around mental health and provide people with the tools and resources to be more proactive in looking after their emotional wellbeing.

Mental health is a growing health, social and economic issue in Ireland. It is expected that depressive mental illnesses will be the leading cause of chronic disease in high-income countries by 2030 and 1-in-4 will experience mental health problems during their lifetime*. The Irish mortality rate from suicide in the 15-24 age group is the fourth highest in the EU, and the third highest among young men aged 15-19.

Tackle Your Feelings (TYF) was established with a clear vision to promote the view that being honest with how you are feeling is brave. Being connected to your emotions encourages people to open up to others for support, and by taking this preventative measure, allows people to look after and maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing.

The campaign

Tackle Your Feelings (TYF) is supported by the Zurich Foundation. The campaign was in launched in 2016 and has seen some of Ireland's rugby heroes step forward to share their own stories of the challenges they have faced and have encouraged others to share their stories through the TYF Café. The response to the campaign so far has been very positive; gaining huge traction on social media, as well as in the mainstream media, and the feedback from those who have engaged in the campaign tells us that we are making a difference.

Tackle Your Feelings IRUPA Ambassadors, Connaught's Jake Heenan, former Leinster player Shane Jennings and Irish rugby union player for Leinster Rugby, Jack McGrath shared their emotional wellness stories and explained why it's important to be open about our feelings and be brave enough to seek support. Their videos are available to view on our YouTube channel.

Employee engagement

As part of the Tackle Your Feelings initiative, IRUPA and Zurich hosted a number of events in 2016 to promote mental wellness to Zurich employees. In Dublin and Wexford, panel discussions took place featuring TYF Zurich Ambassadors who shared their personal stories about dealing with a mental wellbeing challenge, along with former Leinster and Ireland player, Shane Jennings and mental health expert and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Eddie Murphy who provided practical advice on how to proactively manage mental wellbeing.

Employee feedback after event was extremely positive:

"I think this is one of the best initiatives I have seen Zurich support. I'm proud of the efforts the organisation is putting into this issue - congratulations to all involved."

"I was impressed and believe that it is a genuine effort by the company to support and do it in an appropriate and informed way."

"One of the best events I have attended in my long career with Zurich."

Find out how you can #TackleYourFeelings by visiting www.tackleyourfeelings.com which serves as a comprehensive resource for people dealing with mental wellbeing issues, as well as family and friends, through interactive tools, information and advice.

*http://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/HealthyIrelandBrochureWA2.pdf who have the following reference: McManus S, Meltzer H, Brugha T, al e. Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England, 2007: Results of a household survey. Leeds: NHS Information centre for health and social care, 2009.

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