Gillian Doherty, Chief Operations Officer, ATI said the Institute has made a donation on behalf of its community of 10,000 members and students to support mental health services in these unprecedented times.
ATI’s Annual Charity Lunch scheduled for the 24 April 2020 has been cancelled and Pieta House, its nominated charity, will not be at a loss as ATI has committed €20,000 to help support people in psychological distress due to the effects of COVID-19.
“We as human beings are not always aware of our capacity for personal resilience and in these uncertain times, we may need additional support,” said Gillian.
“With the help of the frontline staff of Pieta House, we can avail of their experience and expertise in recovering wellness.”
Leading occupational psychologist Paul Marsden, who works with Accounting Technicians Ireland, said: “It is important to take care of mind and body at this time by making sure we exercise, sleep well and keep in touch with relatives and friends.
“The constantly changing nature of the situation can cause stress for everybody as the broad issue is, of course, beyond our control.
“Daily routines have been completely altered and this can cause stress for everybody as circumstances are very much beyond our control.”
He emphasised a number of key tips to follow to ensure we can manage our stress and wellbeing during the current situation:
- Keep in contact with friends and family. This is particularly important where older people are concerned.
- It is important to take a break from watching news stories and consuming social media as repeated information about the pandemic can increase stress levels considerably.
- During this time of isolation it is beneficial to build structure and routine into our days. This helps to pass the time as well as feeling a sense of achievement and it helps manage relationships.
- Everyone reacts differently in stressful situations and we should try and understand the sources of our stress. These can be things like worrying about our health or the health of others, difficulty sleeping, changes to our daily routine or financial worries. We should avoid going over these in our head repeatedly as this will escalate feelings of stress.
- Take care of your body by stretching and taking deep breaths from time to time throughout the day.
- Eat healthy and balanced meals, keep hydrated and ensure you get plenty of sleep.
- Make sure to build in some time during the day for relaxing and enjoyable activities. Having a balance is a great de-stressor. As an example it would be good to go for a walk at some time during the day, every day.
Accounting Technicians Ireland’s President and Grant Thornton Partner Sinead Donovan said support for Pieta House is now more important than ever as people’s psychological health comes into focus given the restrictions on daily life.
“As an employer and mother, it is a mission of mine to stress my personal belief in the value of promoting good mental health,” said Ms Donovan.
“The core theme of our Annual Charity Lunch was to have been wellness, with a particular emphasis on mental health.
“I am big on talking about it and charities like Pieta House require strong support from all of us at this time.
“During this crisis employers are worried about employees, especially those who may be from another country.
“In this digital age, it is also critical to keep the anxieties and concerns of children and teenagers right now uppermost in our thoughts.”
Pieta House, which has recently postponed its Annual Darkness Into Light walk, warmly welcomed the donation.
“At Pieta, we provide a professional one-to-one counselling support service to people who are in suicidal distress, those who engage in self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide,” said CEO Elaine Austin.
“We rely on donations for more than 80% of our income and our work simply would not be possible without the support of organisations like Accounting Technicians Ireland.
“This is a particularly challenging time as we respond to the challenge of coronavirus, during which we will make our life-saving counselling support available by phone.
“It is so important at this time that people don’t feel alone.
“We are so grateful to ATI for helping Pieta to continue to be here to make a difference for people who are in crisis during this difficult time.”
For those in difficulty, Pieta House can be contacted free at 1800 247 246 or text HELP to 51444.