The University appreciates that this is an uncertain time for staff and students. While we are adhering to government and NHS guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we recognise that essential measures such as homeworking and the postponement of teaching can raise issues for staff and students.

If you are worried about yourself or someone else, or have concerns about the developing situation, we have a range of support services that can help.

An executive summary of the recent Staff Survey report has been produced and provides a commentary on responses and actions taken as a result of the survey.

Support for staff

Additionally, staff are able to contact HR whilst working from home. Please email your HR Partner or HR@abdn.ac.uk. If you'd like to speak to someone on the phone call 01224 273500.  

Employee Assistance Programme

The University offers staff an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which provides a free, confidential face to face and telephone counselling service as well as information services.

The EAP is provided by Care First and staff can contact them about work related or personal issues as well as information, such as  legal or financial advice. You can also read Care First's Coronavirus guidance here.

Care First is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be contacted on the freephone number 0808 168 2143.

Online information and counselling are available on the Lifestyle website:

http://www.carefirst-lifestyle.co.uk
Username: aberdeen
Password: employee

Care First can provide support on a wide range of issues, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Budgeting
  • Bullying
  • Bullying at work
  • Coping with change
  • Debt
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Domestic abuse
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Family problems
  • Food and nutrition
  • Gambling
  • Harassment at work
  • Health information
  • Legal advice
  • Managing money
  • PTSD
  • Relationships
  • Stress at work
  • Stress management
  • Suicide
  • Workplace critical incidents

The PowerPoint presentation provides and overview of the services available through Care First.

Additionally, Care First provide a health and wellbeing app which offers a combination of tailored programmes and health information and support.

The app, called Care First Zest, can be accessed at the URL below, the App Store or Google Play:

Student Counselling Service - information for staff

Students

Students requiring a letter of support from the Student Counselling Service. Please see the 'Letters of Support Requests from Students' section on our webpages.

Staff

Staff seeking help - please go to

Inclusion

The University continues to support inclusion and diversity during this time.

The Equality Networks continue to be available to signpost staff and support staff with queries. More information is .

If you have a disability and have concerns about current work arrangements please contact your Human Resources Partner or Adviser.

For advice related to diversity and inclusion please contact Janine Chalmers

LGBT support

Switchboard provides a one-stop listening service for LGBT+ people on the phone, by email and through Instant Messaging. Find out more here.

Staff and students with autism (or children with autism)

Multi-faith Chaplaincy

The Multi-faith Chaplaincy offers resources and help for everyone, whatever their situation. You can make an appointment with one of the Chaplains by emailing chaplaincy@abdn.ac.uk and they will organise to talk with you by phone.  If you have an urgent enquiry, please contact 07772 062 522.

Occupational Health

The Occupational Health service for the University is provided by Iqarus Limited.

All staff are able to consult the service for advice on health matters. You are encouraged to discuss any health problems relating to your work in the first instance with your line manager however the occupational health service may be able to provide medical advice and assistance in situations where:

  • You are concerned that some aspect of your job is making you ill
  • You feel that you cannot perform at work to the best of your ability because of a health problem

The service is staffed by a broad range of occupational health professionals including physicians and advisers. All consultations are in strict medical confidence, details of discussions will not be supplied to the University or to any other person without your consent.

Iqarus is based at Forest Grove House on the Foresterhill site. Consultations are by appointment at Forest Grove House.

To arrange an appointment you can either ask your line manager to get Human Resources to refer you to the Occupational Health Service or contact your HR Adviser or Partner directly who can facilitate this.

Workplace Dignity Network

The Workplace Dignity Network are available to discuss any wellbeing concerns through email, over the phone or in Teams. Find out more here.

Support for Parents

Parent Club is a free Scottish Government resource with useful information on how to cope with the current situation and how to protect yourself, your children and others.

Mental Health

Support for Staff

  • Staff continue to have access to our Employee Assistance Programme (Care First) who have been delivering specific Covid-19 relating support and information for staff. They also offer telephone support and counselling for staff.
     
  • The weekly eZine was quickly updated at the start of the pandemic to focus on wellbeing; practicalities about working under these unusual circumstances; and signposting to services and information. Previous communications can be found on the website.
     
  • Enhanced use of the wellbeing Facebook page for staff for community support and engagement has been made since the start of lockdown and provides a resource for staff to communicate and socialise. The Parent’s network has also been active during this time on social media.
     
  • Various items of guidance for Line Managers has been provided since the start of the pandemic to support general conversations within teams and also specific issues (like the use of the CJRS for impacted staff and bereavement).
     
  • Coronavirus specific training from MIND was made available shortly before the pandemic, and remains available for staff to complete to support their own, and others, wellbeing.
     
  • E-learning and online resources have also been created to help staff in their re-induction to campus, which will be operating very differently to how they were when many staff left in March. These provide information on the changes implemented as a result of Covid-19.

Support for both Staff and Students

  • The University Counselling Service, having provided support exclusively to students for the past 4 years, expanded to support staff from the commencement of the pandemic. The service offers a “One at a Time Therapy” model of counselling, which provides sessions with a trained counsellor within 2-3 working days of requesting an appointment. No set allocated block of sessions is given under this model, and individuals can return and ask for a follow up appointment with no set limit. All sessions are being delivered virtually, by phone or MS Teams. More information about how this OAATT model operates can be found at www.abdn.ac.uk/counselling, and specifically under the tab ‘Information for Students’.
     
  • The University subscribes to “togetherall” (formerly known as “Big White Wall”) which  provides a supervised online community, available 24/7, with forums; online courses; and resources to support mental health. All staff and students can make use of togetherall for support with mental health. Registering with the service is not reported to the University.
     
  • Our Multi Faith Chaplaincy offers pastoral care and support to the whole University Community. Chaplains are available to support staff and students of any faith and those who do not subscribe to faith at all. During the pandemic they have continued to offer a regular book club and social groups, details of which are posted on social media.
     
  • The role and operation of the Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) was recently refreshed as part of planned enhancements under the Mental Health & Wellbeing Working Group. MHFAs have signed up to a charter confirming their commitment to supporting staff and students in need and details of your local MHFA can be found on the website.
     
  • The Mental Health Champion role has also been revisited and a closer integration of the roles is taking place. There are currently over 100 staff committed to MHFA and MHC activities with a spread across departments and schools.