Support Services

Support Services

Support for staff

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

Disabled Staff

The links below provide information of relevance to disabled staff. For more specific guidance, please contact your Human Resources Officer.

  • There are a number of opportunities for involvement, if you have an interest in disability matters at the University of Aberdeen.
  • Fitness and exercise opportunities for disabled users
  • Library services for disabled users
  • Staff Disability Network Group
Employee Assistance Programme

Care first logoThe 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.

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:
Username: aberdeen
Password: employee

We want to ensure that our staff get the best service possible, therefore we would welcome feedback on the service provided to you by Carefirst. Comments can be sent to

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 and video provide an overview of the services available through Care First.

University of Aberdeen staff have access to a well-being app provided by CareFirst. Details about the application and how to register are available here.

2022 Weekly Publicity Calendar week commencing13 June 2022

Monday  Loneliness Awareness Week 

Wednesday How Care First can support you

Thursday - Menopause Awareness 

Friday - Care First Lifestyle - Your digital well-being solution  

2022 Weekly Publicity Calendar week commencing 20 Juen 2022 

Monday - World Wellbeing Week 

Wednesday - How Care first can support you 

Friday - Care first cCBT

Upcoming Topics 

Wellbeing Calendar for 2022 

Week commencing 27 June 2022 

Situation in Ukraine - 3 March 2022

With the ever-evolving situation in Ukraine, we felt it is important to update you on what Care first is doing to support their customers. Please click on the link below to see our statement.

Care first Statement 

Documents from previous webinars:

EAP Video 

Further Materials

April 2022 

Be Active 

May 2021

Dementia Awareness

Mental Health Awareness

Post-Partum (Perinatal Depressions) and Mental Illness

Scotland's Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA)

Mental Health First Aid is a national training programme and prepares people to be Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs).

Counselling Service - Information for Staff

Staff Seeking Help

The Counselling Service offers in-person, online or telephone counselling sessions for members of staff and students who are currently in the UK. The Counselling Service aim to offer you an appointment within 2 working days of you getting in touch. Instead of arranging a block of future appointments, counselling sessions are booked individually at the point where you feel they would be helpful. For further information on the Counselling Service and how to contact them, please go to their webpage

Letters of Support for Students

The Counselling Service can provide letters of support for students who have talked to a counsellor. Please see the 'Letters of Support Requests from Students' section on their webpage


Members of the Mediation Team

The following members of the Mediation Team are prepared to take part in Co-Mediation for early dispute resolution:

Name Title
Derek Auchie Personal Chair, School of Law
Grant Cordiner Technical Resources Officer, Central Workshop 
Ana Ivanovic Personal Chair, School of Engineering
Duncan Stuart Head of Student Experience
Gail Smillie Relationship Manager Team Lead, Programme Management
Patricia Spence Centre Manager, Centre for Academic Development
Emma Towler Strategic Planning Officer
Grainne Ferrigan  Development Officer, Online Education
Clare Trembleau  Staff Development Partner 


What is Mediation?

Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes. It involves an independent third party, a Mediator, who helps both sides to reach an agreement.

The role of the Mediator is to help parties to reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome which both parties are happy to accept. Mediators are entirely independent; they avoid taking sides, making judgements or giving guidance. They are responsible for developing effective communication and building consensus between the individuals who are in dispute.

The focus of a Mediation meeting is to reach a settlement which is agreeable to both parties.

Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. It is a confidential process and the content of a Mediation meeting is not disclosed to anyone outside the meeting.

What are the Benefits of Mediation?

Mediation provides a quicker and simpler way of resolving disputes rather than using formal procedures.

The University's Mediation Team

The University has established a Mediation Team. Members of the Mediation Team are fully trained, and are able to provide a Mediation service for all members of staff, and between all levels of staff, with the aim of providing resolution at the early stages of a dispute.

The University is a Member of Scottish Mediation and adhere to their Code of Conduct to ensure that all members of the Mediation Team demonstrate respect, independence, impartiality and confidentiality. 


The approach to Mediation which has been adopted by Members of the Mediation Team is Co-Mediation. This involves two Mediators who work together as a team.

The advantages of Co-Mediation are:

  • The participants have the advantage of the combined skills of two Mediators whose skills usually enhance and complement each other;
  • There is a better check on any bias or shortcomings which might occur if only one Mediator is used;
  • A participant has a better chance of establishing a sense of trust with at least one of the two Mediators.

How Does Co-Mediation Work?

There are usually three phases to Co-Mediation:

  1. Pre Mediation – once the people involved in the dispute agree to participate in the Mediation process, the Co-Mediators will schedule a separate Pre Mediation meeting with each individual. The purpose of this meeting is to find out more about the individuals' perspectives and to answer any questions about the process. A confidentiality agreement is signed by all the parties at this stage.
  2. Mediation – the people involved in the dispute and the Mediators meet, and the Mediation process is explained in detail. Each person has the opportunity to provide his or her perspective on the dispute. One Mediator will guide the conversation while the other will listen and feedback what has been recorded to check for accuracy. The role of the Mediators is to guide the process to facilitate increased understanding between the people involved in the dispute. Mediation aims to help people achieve a win/win solution to a dispute. This may take some time and the outcome is a Mediation Agreement which is signed by both parties.
  3. Follow Up – It is good practice for one of the Mediators to follow up with the participants in the Mediation process some time after the Mediation has been completed to see how things are progressing.

Further Information and Access to Mediation

Members of the team are able to provide more information on mediation and to make arrangements for mediation to take place.

Multi-faith Chaplaincy

The Multi-faith Chaplaincy offers resources and help for everyone, whatever their situation. Chaplaincy staff work closely with Student Support Services team, and are here for all staff and students on campus - everyone is welcome.

The Chaplaincy Centre is at 25 High Street and is open 09:30 - 16:30, Monday to Friday, throughout the year for visitors.

Chaplaincy staff will happily arrange out of hours meetings for those in need.

Occupational Health

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

 Find out more on the Employee Wellbeing section of the Staffnet.