Support Services

Support Services

Information about different support available for staff is detailed below. Additionally, if you would like to speak with a member of the HR Team, please email or call your HR Partner (Contact HR | StaffNet | The University of Aberdeen ( or email  

Disabled Staff

There are a number of opportunities for involvement, if you have an interest in disability matters at the University of Aberdeen. The links below provide information of relevance to disabled staff. For more specific guidance, please contact your Human Resources Officer.

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. In the moment emotional support (not counselling sessions), can also be given to immediate family members, partners and children over the age of 18 who live within the family home. 

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

Please note: the demand for the support line may be high at particular times and staff may be unable to speak with a counsellor right away. However, calls will always be answered and a brief assessment undertaken to determine whether the call needs to be escalated to one of the on-call clinical management team and/or a call back arranged. Where a call back is arranged, staff will receive a call from a private number.

Watch the lastest webinar from Care First to learn more about the services they offer and how they can support you - 'How Care First can support you' 

Online information and counselling are available on the Lifestyle website:
Username: aberdeen
Password: employee

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

Across University of Aberdeen campuses, we have a network of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA).

The activities of MHFA's contribute to improving mental health in the workplace through encouraging openness, challenging stigma and providing listening support to individuals experiencing difficulties with their mental health or wellbeing.

You can find the contact list for all staff trained in Mental Health First Aid here.

Our network of Mental Health First Aiders can provide you with:

  • A listening ear, if you need to talk to someone, providing a confidential and safe place to discuss mental health and wellbeing concerns.
  • Initial support if you or someone you know are experiencing mental health or wellbeing difficulties.
  • Signposting information as well as support to access internal or external mental health and wellbeing services.

Mental Health First Aiders are not trained counsellors or therapists and cannot provide ongoing or long-term support, diagnosis or treatment; however, they are trained to listen, reassure, and respond and can support an individual's next steps to seeking further help as appropriate.

MHFA Training

MHFA training sessions are organised throughout the year. Please email the Wellbeing Team for more information. 

If you need out of office hours support or need immediate assistance, these mental health helplines have specially trained volunteers to help you through your immediate crisis.

University Counselling Service

All members of staff can receive confidential support and counselling through the University Counselling Service. As well as accessing confidential counselling, staff can also debrief with our trained counselling team following a challenging or distressing encounter at work.

To book a counselling or a debrief session email

More information about the University Counselling Service can be found 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 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

The Occupational Health service for the University is provided by OHWorks (Changed from SOS International 1 May 2023).

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.

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.

Online Reporting Tool

You can use our online confidential tool to report any incidents or acts of harassment, bullying, violence, targeted hate, or sexual misconduct.

For more information and to report an incident click here.