Covid-19 - Staff Update - remote study & working, mental health & other support advice

Staff Update - 3 April 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we come to the end of week two on lockdown, we can reflect on how this change in our working environment is impacting on us.

It has been really heartening to see the various and creative ways we are keeping in touch with colleagues - virtual coffee breaks and taking part in online team quizzes seems to be a great way of keeping the team spirit up. Please keep ‘dropping’ in on one another and do join our UOAStaffWellbeing community on Facebook if you have not already done so.

We also appreciate that during these difficult days it can help to talk through any worries or issues you may have.  We thought it would be a helpful reminder that our Counselling service is available to both staff and students during this time. We also have round-the-clock support through Care First. Staff can use Big White Wall which is 24/7 and accessed using your University email account and advice on mental health and wellbeing is also available at MIND.

We recognise that for some, working or studying at home may not always offer a happy or supportive environment. ACVO has a list of services available across Aberdeen – many specifically responding to the impact of coronavirus – where you can find information on a range of issues including domestic abuse, finance, funding and foodbanks. Our LGBTQ+ community can also contact our own network for support.

The Chief Medical Officer of NHS Scotland has written to those in the most vulnerable category, indicating the need for self-isolation including from members of their own household for 12 weeks. If you, or a member of your household, has received this notification it will present challenges. More information is available here and we would also encourage staff in this position to discuss any issues they have with their line manager.

Finally, just a reminder that this Monday is the second designated rest day for staff – please make sure you really do switch work off and please avoid sending emails on Monday.

Remember to visit our coronavirus pages here for our regular updates and FAQs. These updates include helpful tips on using our IT services at home which may be helpful as a reminder.  You can also reach us by emailing coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk for any general questions that you have. 

Best wishes and stay safe. 

Debbie

Debbie Dyker
Acting Director of Operations