By Sonia McDiarmid
Joan had been on her business Facebook group and chatting with her close friend Mike, who was talking about a recent team building course he had done with his office. His team had recently been hit hard with stress due to COVID-19, and he wanted to do something about it. The sense of relief in his voice was noticeable.
Mike’s group had taken Skillfully Responding to Distress, a half day, live online workshop offered by the Crisis Centre. Joan noticed that he seemed to be feeling better about his company’s well being in the days and weeks afterwards; however, the problem was Joan knew her company needed more support than Mike’s. She was aware that during this pandemic some of her staff members had been feeling so overwhelmed that they had started to have suicidal ideations. Joan knew that it would be beneficial for her team to learn skills related to both stress and suicide in order to reach all her staff.
The Crisis Centre of BC has partnered with LivingWorks Start to offer supportive online workshops. Lu Ripley, Director of Community Learning and Engagement at the Centre, helped explain how combining the Start program with Skillfully Responding to Distress supports individuals while also creating a sense of community at the same time.
Many employers recognize that their staff are struggling, but they just don’t know what to do about it. By offering a 2-part online workshop, attendees get more in-depth learning and “feel empowered and relieved to have skills to use both in their personal and professional lives.” Lu says that having this supportive and unified environment contributes to what makes it a success. With the entire group working on the same theme and sharing a unified goal of supporting one another, it brings a sense of common purpose.
If your team would like to learn how to both respond to and de-escalate stress, as well as how to recognize the signs of suicide and learn tools to support others, please reach out to The Crisis Centre of BC to book these 2 courses. We are here to help.