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 counseling 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 counseling 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.

Week Commencing 5th February 2024 - Weekly Publicity Calendar   all events start at 12 noon 

Monday  - Understanding Sexual Abuse 

Tuesday - Social Media and Children's Mental Health 

Wednesday  -  How Care first can support you 

Friday - Critical Incident Support 

Week Commencing 12th February 2024   -  Weekly publicity calendar   

Monday  - Understanding Care first cCBT 

Wednesday - How Care first can support you 

Friday - Random Acts of Kindness  

Week Commencing 19th February  2024 - Weekly Publicity Calendar  

Monday - Care first Lifestyle - Your Digital Wellbeing Solution 

Wednesday -  How Care first can support you 

Friday - The Benefits of being outdoors  

Week commencing 26th February 2024 -  Weekly Publicity Calendar 

Monday -  What is Short Term solution Focused Counselling 

Wednesday - How Care first can support you  

Friday  - Pets and Mental Health - What are the bnenefits   


Documents from previous webinars:

Further Materials:

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).

University Counselling Service (available to all members of staff)

Counselling Support for Staff

Members of staff can receive support through the University Counselling Service.

They offer the folllowing:

  • counselling, peer-supervision appointments or 50 minute debrief appointments
  • no waiting list which means they are able to to offer you offer you an appointment quite soon after you email them
  • appointments are booked as and when you need to talk; no block booking
  • free of charge

On their webpage you will find: 

  • Appointment Information for Students and Staff
  • Details about workshops for Students and Staff
  • In Crisis information
  • Link to their Toolkit 
  • Student Helpline information
  • Information about Letters of Support for Students which they can provide for students who have met a counsellor.

As well as links to other university sources of support and external resources.



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 Corse Strategic Planning Officer
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

We have a dedicated e-mail address where you can ask any questions or arrange an informal chat about how mediation can help you or any of your staff.

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.