The University recognises that employers are able to positively influence their workforce by promoting a culture of wellness in the office.

As an employer, the University is committed to providing a healthy and safe working environment for all employees.

Keep reading to find out more about our current and past initiatives.

Big White Wall

Big White Wall logo



University of Aberdeen students and staff going through a tough time can access free online support with Big White Wall. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or not coping, Big White Wall can help you get support, take control and feel better.

The service provides 24/7 online peer and professional support, with trained counsellors. Big White Wall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve and self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.  

Big White Wall is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it unless you tell them!

More than three quarters of members feel better as a result of using the service and nearly 90% use Big White Wall outside of 9-5pm. You can get support on the service at any time of the day or night, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

To join Big White Wall’s supportive online community, simply go to and sign up with your university email address. You then choose an anonymous username for your time on Big White Wall.

To see more about how Big White Wall works, you can watch this short film: Big White Wall - how it works

Health and Wellbeing Day 8 November 2018

Come along to our health and wellbeing day in Foresterhill on Thursday and learn about the fantastic support services available to University staff and students. There will be lots of activities to get involved in, as well as tasty food to try and goodies and materials to take away with you.


Previous Health and Wellbeing Day



7 February 2018

The University held its Old Aberdeen Health and Wellbeing day on Wednesday 7 February in Elphinstone Hall.

11 January 2017

A massive thank you goes out to everyone who helped make the University's third Health and Wellbeing Day, a triumph. Once again we had a good number of colleagues take part on the day, visiting stalls and attending presentations. The event was also well supported by the Principal and the senior management team.

We were honoured to have Paralympian, and alumnus, Neil Fachie back to the university to present the awards for the Race to the North Pole challenge. This challenge was won by the Happy Feet team. We thoroughly enjoyed, and were inspired by Neil’s talk.

A number of sessions throughout the day were both popular and beneficial to the staff. Discussions of diet and nutrition looked at what it means to eat a healthy diet, and how to overcome barriers and achieve a healthy working life style. Workshops on relaxation taught a series of techniques to allow to reduce stress levels and to increased feelings of wellbeing. To finish off the day, the resilience work shop taught participants about their own personal resilience to stress and adversity.

Following the success of both the day and the Race to the North Pole challenge, we are eager for people to continue striving for a healthy lifestyle. Let’s make 2017 the year for health and wellbeing!

Rowing Challenge

Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s three minute rowing challenge.

The total metres overall was a staggering 30,952 metres, a distance which is almost equivalent to crossing the English Channel.

Congratulations to the IT team who recorded an impressive 8538 metres, followed by Cruickshank’s Gardens with 6564 and HR with 3038. The highest metres by individuals were recorded by:

  • Colin Wooley  - 930m
  • Fraser Lovie   - 861m
  • Chris Rob       - 859m

Bike Challenge

Well done also to those taking up the bike challenge. That was really hard work. The best times in seconds recorded for the 500m dash were:


  • Alice McLellan - 40.06
  • Gillian Kerr      - 44.14
  • Sarah Nox      - 44.36


  • Mike Whyment   - 33.61
  • Chris James       - 33.81
  • Chris Robb         - 35.93
  • Chris Osbeck      - 37.00
  • Luke Harrold       - 37.36
6 April 2016

Many of us start the New Year with resolutions of being fitter and healthier; whether it’s to lose weight, stop smoking, to be more active, or simply to find more time for ourselves.

Because we care about the welfare of all of our employees, the University held its first Health and Wellbeing day on Foresterhill Campus on Wednesday 6 April 2016 to showcase some of the excellent facilities and support already available to staff.

There were representatives from:

  • The Rowett on healthy diets and nutrition
  • IT Services
  • Aberdeen Sports Village about their membership and facilities
  • NHS Grampian will advise on smoking cessation
  • Learn Emergency First Aid
  • And many more.
8 January 2016

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the University’s first Health and Wellbeing Day (on Friday 8 January) such a success. Despite the weather causing havoc with travel plans, over 400 colleagues visited stalls, attended presentations and took part in physical activities.

Kicking off the activities, the Principal led colleagues in a morning run with the University’s Sports and Exercise team, and the energy levels remained high throughout the day with departments competing to see who could clock the most miles on exercise bikes. It was great to see our target of 100 miles exceeded, and we ended with a total of 134 miles. Congratulations to the IT team who recorded an impressive 44 miles, followed by External Relations with 33.9 and HR with 33.1.

The highest miles by individuals were recorded by:

  1. Tony Anagboso (HR) 16 miles
  2. Mike Raffan (IT) 15 miles
  3. Colm McPhee (Estates) 12.5 miles

During an insightful presentation, Dr Steve Heys explained how breast cancer is diagnosed, how it can be treated and risk factors. Dr Graeme Nixon also welcomed colleagues to his presentation on Mindfulness and Wellbeing in areas such as teaching, business, sport and health care.

A number of the sessions proved extremely popular with staff, including the emergency first aid training and relaxation sessions. Following the success the Health and Wellbeing Day, the University is planning a series of health and wellbeing themed events throughout the year, encouraging exercise and activity and promoting the support and services available within the University for the benefit of staff.

Mental Wellbeing Week April 2016

As part of the ongoing “Because We Care” campaign, the University promoted some of the services and advice available to support the mental wellbeing of our staff and students in Sir Duncan Rice Library.

There were representatives from


Mental Heath Week

The 10th October 2017 marks World Mental Health Day (WMHD) and the theme this year is ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’.  In order to promote this theme, the University of Aberdeen has decided to hold a number of sessions/workshops throughout the week for staff.

As employers, we recognise that we are able to positively influence our community by promoting a culture of wellness in the office. The University is committed to providing a healthy and safe working environment for all employees. As a result we want to provide you with some opportunities to reflect on your own mental health, as well as the mental health of those around you.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of WMHD. The University of Aberdeen has decided to share this message from the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). Please see below;

   “One in four adults will experience mental health difficulties, yet prejudice and discrimination are significant barriers that deprive people of their dignity. To make dignity in mental health a reality requires every member of society to work together. It requires action in the community and, importantly, in the workplace.” (WFMH)

We will be holding sessions throughout the week (09/10/2017 – 13/10/2017) and we welcome you to come along. A schedule of some of our events can be viewed here.

There will also be a number of interactive sessions on topics ranging from coping with challenges, staying safe in the community, staying safe online, sexual health advice and more. Click here to find out more and to book your place.


If you require more information please contact Dr Anthony Anagboso on or Ext. 3414.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Professor Sir Ian Diamond and Professor Margaret Ross invited the University community to attend the launch of the University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

The Strategy has been developed to promote the University’s commitment to supporting staff and students to safeguard their own mental health and to providing excellent support services for colleagues and students who have mental health and wellbeing concerns.

Presentation slides