July 21, 2024

THE CEO of leading health and social care company, Cygnet, led a team to the top of Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon last week on a charity trek that has raised a massive £10,000 to support health workers with their mental health.

The team of colleagues from across Cygnet services were raising money for Doctors in Distress, a small charity doing big work to support healthcare workers with their mental health. Cygnet runs health and social care services to support individuals with mental health needs, learning disabilities and autism.

The 20 members of staff from across the company, led by CEO Dr Tony Romero, set off in the early morning sunshine to take on the mountain via one of the toughest routes – the Watkin Path.

The group also included the CEOs of both the Health and Social Care Divisions, Stephen Firn and Gareth Williams, as well as Group Clinical Director Jon Van Niekerk, HR Director Jenny Gibson and a number of other senior leaders and clinicians from across Cygnet services.

The route was purposely chosen by Dr Romero to really put the walkers to the test. The final ascent to the summit loomed large and for many looked like a seemingly unimaginable (and almost vertical) challenge to the top.

With grit, determination and team spirit, the group encouraged each other up the rough terrain, scrambling over rocks and avoiding steep drops.

Dr Romero (bottom left) with Cygnet Staff

Dr Romero said: “I was really proud of everyone who took on the challenge. Whilst many tried to persuade me to take an alternative route, I knew that the Watkin Path would offer some stunning scenery, waterfalls and lakes as well as an immense feeling of satisfaction for completing one of the hardest routes to the top of the mountain.

“We took a steady approach, pacing ourselves along the way to make sure we supported each other as a team. It was a beautiful day and a great sense of achievement as we soaked in the stunning views from above the clouds.

“It was a real team effort and I was genuinely impressed with everyone’s determination, positivity and brave attitude to give it 100%.”

Dr Tony Romero at the Yr Wyddfa summit

The team has raised in excess of £10,000 for Doctors in Distress a small charity that provides mental health support for healthcare workers across the UK.

Across health care, staff often won’t ask for help as they may feel it’s a sign of weakness, but being human means that they suffer from the same illnesses and stresses as the people they care for.

Sadly burnout and suicide rates are much higher amongst doctors and healthcare workers than in the general population. Current statistics show that one doctor takes their life roughly once every three weeks. They are two to five times more likely to die by suicide that the general population and female doctors are two and a half times more likely to take their lives than their male counterpart.

Ann Paul, CEO of Doctors in Distress said: “This is an amazing commitment by the Cygnet team and we’re delighted to have their support. Snowdon is no small undertaking.”

The charity is dedicated to protecting mental health and stopping suicide in all health workers, not just doctors.  Through confidential facilitated groups, they provide an opportunity for all those working in health care to give and get support.

Donations can still be made to the charity via the team’s JustGiving page.