To mark World Mental Health Day 2021, KSN, KSN Project Management and KSN Energy hosted an in-house event with guest speaker Conor O’Keefe.
Conor, a Cork native, is a motivational speaker and ultramarathon runner who became the youngest ever winner of an Enduroman 200-mile Ultra Run in England in 2019. Conor was the first person in three years to complete the race in less than 60 hours (59 hours 45 minutes), but his greatest achievement to date is much more personal: he has overcome his mental health battle.
As busy professionals, we are all consumed by the daily hustle and bustle of life, however, mental health and employee wellbeing is a core component of the intrinsic values KSN holds as an employer and Conor’s values mirror this perfectly making him the ideal speaker for our event.
Conor discussed his concept of ‘personal resilience’ with the KSN team. He spoke openly about his personal struggles with mental health, as well as the mechanisms he developed and shared with others to help them understand their own personal resilience.
“As a nation, Irish people are so hard on themselves. When the pandemic hit, no one could have predicted what would happen next.”
Conor expanded on this idea by discussing his “Pillars of Resilience.” Accountability and gratitude are examples of these. “We have been constructing our own personal resilience without even realizing it during the global pandemic, but nobody realises this” he added. “Through endurance training, I developed what I call ‘everyday endurance,’ in which I was able to transfer this comfort with myself and mental flexibility into my daily life. As a result, I wasn’t at the mercy of the outside world.”
Conor’s positive mental attitude, passion for fitness and life, and the benefits this has had on his own mental health, as well as the tips and steps he recommended for everyone on the team to work on in both their daily and working lives to build personal resilience, will undoubtedly be adopted by the KSN team and the wider organisation.
KSN actively prioritises and promotes workplace well-being by providing an Employee Assistance Program, regular wellness days, and an open-door policy for all employees to senior management. Conor, on behalf of KSN, is thanked for a fantastic event.