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.
- 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
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Care First can provide support on a wide range of issues, such as:
- Bullying at work
- Coping with change
- Domestic abuse
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Family problems
- Food and nutrition
- Harassment at work
- Health information
- Legal advice
- Managing money
- Stress at work
- Stress management
- Workplace critical incidents
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.
2021 COVID-19 Weekly Publicity Calendar week commencing 25 October 2021
Monday: How Care First can support You
Tuesday: The benefits fo being outdoors
Documents from previous webinars:
- Change & Resilliance
- Working from Home
- Loneliness & Isolation
- Mental Health Awareness (World Mental Health Day)
- Supporting loved ones overseas
- How feelings of loneliness and isolation can make it difficult to re-interact after lockdown
- How to spot if someone is struggling with their mental health
- Alcohol Awareness - Drinking safely as lockdown eases
- HowCare First Can Support You
- Key Facts about the Delta variant & health anxiety
- Tips for Managers to keep staff motivated
- COVID-19 - Vaccine anxiety
- The benefits of keeping positive
- Coping with uncertainty
- Anxiety of the clinically vulnerable
- The benefits of cycling
- Information for MHFAs, Mental Health Champions & Managers supporting teams as restrictions ease
- Bullying & harrassment at work
- Hidden disabilities
- The benefits of being sociable
- Tips for keeping safe in the sun this summer
- Ways to reduce your carbon footprint
- Compassion fatigue
- Travelling with unvaccinated children
- Has lockdown made us more spontaneous
- Mental Health Awareness
- Covid-19 Guidance Article
- Preparing for the winter
- Establishing Familiar Routines
- Long COVID
- Vaccination Booster
- World Suicide Prevention
- Maintaining working relationships as our working patterns change
- National Fitness Day
- Tips for improving posture
- International Happiness Week at Work
- 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).
- To find out more please visit the Employee Wellbeing section of Staffnet
- Counselling Service - Information for Staff
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
Staff Seeking Help
Currently the Counselling Service are offering ‘virtual’ counselling on MS Teams for members of staff and students who reside in the UK. They provide what they describe as 'One-at-a Time counselling' meaning that they aim to offer you one appointment at the time of need rather than a block of future appointments. This doesn’t mean you can or will only receive one appointment, it means you just book one appointment at a time. For further information on the Counselling Service and how to contact them, please go to 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 Sue Barr University Named Veterinary Surgeon, School of Medical Sciences Katja Christie Special Projects Advisor, Grants Academy 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 team adhere to a set of guiding principles to ensure that all members of the Mediation Team demonstrate respect, independence, impartiality and confidentiality, consistent with the European Code of Conduct for Mediation.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.