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Da Silly Heads Connect with Clearstream to Increase Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace

Da Silly Heads Connect with Clearstream to Increase Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace

19 April, 2021

The Extended Campus acts as a facilitator creating and supporting links between MTU, enterprise, and community groups. Connections made by the Extended Campus can provide organisations with development and growth opportunities, alongside in-depth consultancy work and research.

In January 2020, the Extended Campus introduced students Daniel O’Mahony and Michal Sikora, founders of Da Silly Heads, a social enterprise centred around promoting mental health advocacy, to Clearstream Cork. Clearstream is an important player in the security services industry, with customers in over 110 countries.

Through the introduction made by the MTU Extended Campus, Clearstream provided sponsorship for the “Our Heads Matter” event, the second of its kind held on the Bishopstown campus by the duo. Da Silly Heads subsequently delivered three workshops to the employees at Clearstream Cork and partnered with the company for its summer wellbeing event in 2020.

In February 2021, Clearstream was rewarded for its excellence in people management by receiving the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) ‘Embedding a Culture of Workplace Wellbeing’ award. The judges commended Clearstream for its strong holistic and strategic approach to all aspects of wellbeing and its external collaboration with MTU.

The workshops attended by Clearstream employees took them on a journey through Daniel and Michal’s personal stories; they also received an education on mental health and were encouraged to erase the stigma surrounding mental health discussion. Attendees also received specially created advocacy bags, containing products with a visible display of advocacy.

Brendan Ahearne, a senior HR business partner at Clearstream Cork, outlined the importance of mental health advocacy in the workplace in the current climate “Given the current climate, Clearstream Cork engaged with Da Silly Heads to host their Mental Health Visual Advocacy Workshops for our employees. We were delighted that the interest was so high that we ended up hosting three workshops. We received such positive feedback from everyone that attended the workshops and will continue to work with Dan & Mike this year and the future.”

Brendan also highlighted the inspiring personal touches that came with the workshops. “We were highly impressed that each participant of the workshops received a Da Silly Bobble Hat, that was delivered directly to their home with an individual note of acknowledgement. The personal story and honesty thought-out the workshops really resonated with everyone. I couldn’t recommend Dan & Mike enough; extremely engaging and authentic individuals that are making a difference in the mental health space.”

Da Silly Heads was founded in 2020, having been formulated in 2018 as Daniel and Michal were finishing business degrees. The two friends wanted to promote mental health activism through their advocacy apparel and educational workshops: Stigma is Silly. The workshops aim to inform organisations of the importance of community and peer-lead support. The workshops are delivered with the help of animated cartoon characters, aka their ‘Silly Heads’.

Since connecting with Clearstream, Da Silly Heads have partnered with various corporate and educational organisations such as Janssen Sciences, GMIT, and IT Sligo. The success of Da Silly Heads is an excellent example of the progression that can be made by an organisation when working alongside the Extended Campus.

If you would like to keep up to date with Daniel, Michal and their Silly Heads, you can check out their website and subscribe to their newsletter here. They can also be found on LinkedIn at Da Silly Heads main page and individually as Daniel O’Mahony and Michal Sikora.

If you think that your organisation could benefit from partnering with the Extended Campus at MTU email us at extendedcampus@cit.ie. We can work with you to find the right academic staff, researchers, and students for your needs.

For more examples of the partnerships that have arisen in MTU check out our database of case studies here.

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