Your Wellbeing

Your Wellbeing

If you are in crisis and need urgent help, please call the emergency services on 999.

The resources within this page are here to help and support your mental health and wellbeing.

Are You or Someone You Know in Crisis

If you are experiencing a crisis, emergency, or need urgent support, please dial 999.

  • Alternatively, please contact your GP Practice and ask for an Emergency Appointment.
  • When your GP Practice is closed, please telephone NHS 24 on 111.  NHS out-of-hours

Helplines include:

  • Breathing Space  A free helpline / webchat available 7 days a week for people in Scotland facing crisis. 
  • CAM Support Messenger provides a 24/7 free text service for crisis support across the UK. 
  • HopeLine UK  provides a telephone service for young children and adults under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide.
  • Prevent Suicide - App is an app available for users in Aberdeen which has quick links to local support and allows users to create their own personalised safety plan. 
  • Rape Crisis Scotland   provides services for people in Scotland who have suffered sexual violence regardless of how or when.  
  • University of Aberdeen Security (24/7) can be contacted using the SafeZone free app if you ever need Urgent Help, First Aid or if you have an Emergency while on Campus.
  • Samaritans  offer a free helpline, email service, postal service, and self-help app for anyone experiencing or attempting to cope with crisis.
Alcohol and Drugs

To keep health risks from alcohol at a low level the national guidance is to drink no more than 14 units a week. It is best to spread you units out evenly over three or more days where you can.

Read the University's Policy on Drugs and Alcohol. 

Support and Resources

  • Aberdeen City ADP offers a variety of local alcohol and drug specialist services throughout Aberdeen both self-referring and GP referred. 
  • Alcohol and Drugs Action (ADA) offers a variety of support services for people struggling with alcohol and drug abuse including drop-in sessions and helplines.
  • Narcotics Anonymous offers online meetings and support people who are or have been suffering with drug abuse as well as mentoring schemes for abusers.
  • NHS Alcohol Support offers facts and advice for people suffering from alcohol abuse. Outlines the NHS process for treating alcohol abuse as well as external links for support.
  • TalktoFrank offers information about the dosage and side effects of any drug. Gives advice about what to do in an emergency surrounding drugs and offers support centres for drug abusers.
  • Rehab for Addiction a free drug and alcohol addiction helpline run by people who’ve beaten addiction in their own lives.

Every cancer journey is different.

Support is available at the University for anyone impacted by cancer, and this includes individuals, carers and colleagues.

Internal support can be accessed from a number of sources including your line manager, HR, Occupational Health and our Employee Assistance Programme

Information on the University’s Sickness Absence policy and sick pay entitlement: Holidays, Leaves and Absence

Additional information and resources can also be found with Macmillan Cancer Support 0808 808 00 00 (Monday-Friday, 9am to 8pm).

For individuals living with cancer:

For Carers:

For Line Managers

Domestic Abuse and Bullying

Anyone can be a victim of abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. If you feel at risk of abuse or if you are worried about a loved one help and support is available. 

You have the right to be safe in their relationships free from physical or verbal violence. You must give your consent (permission) every time you have sex. Consent cannot be given if you are heavily under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are asleep or are being threatened with physical violence. If someone tries to have sex with you without your consent, this is rape and against the law. 

If you need to report a crime call Police Scotland on 101 (or in an emergency 999). You will always be treated with respect and dignity during any contact with the police. 

  • AMIS is a charity which offers support for men that have been a victim of domestic support. 
  • BullyingUK offers information and advice for people and families of people affected by bullying. Also offers an online chat on weekdays and an email support service. 
  • Galop is the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline. 
  • Grampian Woman Aid is a charity offering free, confidential, and non-judgemental specialist services for women and children in Aberdeen who have suffered domestic abuse. 
  • Rape Crisis Scotland provides services for people in Scotland who have suffered any form of sexual violence regardless of how or when. 
  • Safe Spaces gives you access to an untraceable online safe space by clicking the Safe Spaces logo via the Royal Mail website. 
  • Victim Support Scotland provides free and confidential support for victims of crime. 
Gambling and Online Addiction
  • BeGambleAware offers free online advice for people suffering from a gambling addiction via a helpline or online live chat. 
  • Video Game Addiction Help offers confidential help and support for people suffering from or affected by someone suffering from a video game or internet addiction.
Health Coaching

The University of Aberdeen logo and The NHS Grampian logo

Why Health Coaching?

If you would like to change your diet, smoking or activity level but find it difficult then health coaching, a new free service for university staff, might be for you.

What is Health Coaching?

Health coaching is a form of one-to-one coaching originally developed and tested by Public Health, NHS Grampian, designed to help you to achieve the positive lifestyle changes that matter to you. A coach will meet with you four to five times to help you decide what you want to change and to work on the skills you will need to be more active, eat better, drink less or reduce/quit smoking. For example, you might work on setting appropriate goals, on improving confidence, or on identifying likely problems and barriers to success. All of your interactions with your health coach are completely confidential.

What do previous clients think?

People using NHS Grampian’s health coaching service have said;

"No preaching common sense approach".

"The sessions really helped me and gave me more confidence".

"Just a big thank you! ….. with the help and support received I have made changes that have improved my life! (BIG TIME!)".”I found the sessions gave me food for thought and the encouragement I got was helpful."

Who are the health coaches?

The service is led by health psychologist Dr Clare Cooper and delivered by a team of Stage 1 trainee health psychologists who have completed additional training in health coaching.

What does it involve?

As a client, you will meet with your Health Coach 4 or 5 times for 30-45 minutes each time. These appointments will be arranged at mutually convenient times and are typically 1 or 2 weeks apart so that you have time to work on agreed targets or to think about particular issues between appointments.

Where does health coaching take place?

Coaching takes place on the Foresterhill and King’s campus in various rooms within in the main University buildings on site.

When does health coaching take place?

Health coaching sessions will be available at various times within the working day (9am-6pm) and clients and coaches are free to agree mutually convenient times.

How do I get involved?

Please contact to register your interest or find out more.

Medical Care

The NHS is here for you and have produced a very helpful document outlining the services you should contact for health advice during Covid19. Going directly to the person with the appropriate skills helps you to a speedier recovery and makes sure all NHS services are run efficiently.

For more information please visit:

In a medical emergency, this is when you or some else is seriously ill, injured, or someone’s life is at risk please dial 999. 

If you need urgent health advice when your GP practice or dentist is closed, you should call NHS 24 on 111. You should only call NHS 24 if you are too ill to wait until your GP practice reopens. NHS 24 cannot prescribe medications or book you an appointment with your GP. They can advise you on what to do or book an emergency doctor appointment at your primary care emergency centre if the nurse practitioner thinks it is necessary.

Mental Health

Life can be busy so it’s important to protect our mental wellbeing. If you are struggling to sleep, feel low, or are not coping, help and support is available if you need it. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. 

Support and Resources 

  • BEAT offers free and confidential help via message boards, webchat and telephone for persons struggling with any eating disorder. 
  • Breathing Space is a service for people in Scotland which is provided via video chat and helpline. Allows you to talk through your feelings and concerns with mental health professionals. 
  • CALM offers a helpline / webchat available all year around for men who are facing difficulty and depressive thoughts. 
  • Cruise Bereavement Care is a free national helpline for people seeking someone to listen to them following a loss/bereavement.  
  • Penumbra is an Aberdeen Self Harm service providing one-on-one support to people over 16 years old who are struggling with self-harm via self-referral or referral from family/agencies. 
  • Samaritans offer a free helpline and self-help app for anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or are struggling to cope.
  • Shout 85258 is a 24/7 text messaging support service for anybody to text when they may be struggling with anxiety, loneliness or depression through to self-harm or suicidal thoughts. The service is there 24/7 and you will get a reply within 5 minutes of your text. TEXT 85258. 

It has been scientifically proven through several studies that practicing mindfulness improves the overall health of our body and mind; specifically the following improvements were noticed:

  • Improvement in social and emotional functioning;
  • Improvement in health and a reduction in visits to the doctor;
  • Improvement in pre-existing health conditions;
  • Significantly reduces stress associated with illness or mental problems;
  • Reduces or even eliminates everyday stress;
  • Reduces levels of depression and anxiety;
  • Reduces the intake of pain relieving medicine among chronic pain sufferers.

For detailed information and events about mindfulness please visit:

Mindfulness Scotland

Free Mindfulness Course

University of Aberdeen Masters degree in Mindfulness

Mindfulness 1-Minute SOS Practice

At times of uncertainty and change our minds may need some extra support. It is helpful to reassure our minds and activate the calming part of our nervous system, so we are not pushed into anxiety or stress or, when we are, we have tools to regain a more peaceful state.

This simple practise will help train your brain to release anxiety and move into a resourceful state. In itself it may seem pointless or silly but is very effective at enabling your brain to become more flexible and focus, so you can choose where to put your focus and stimulate positive reactions in your body to support your wellbeing.

Just take 1 minute

  1. Focus on the sensations in your feet, feel the temperature, the weight, the feeling of where they connect with the floor, your socks, shoes or feel your seat and back on a chair and just feel where your body connects with the chair. (This takes you away from your thinking mind)
  2. Allow yourself to take your attention to your own breath, just noticing at first how the body breathes in and out, is there any difference between the sensations in the body between the in and out breathes.
  3. If you can allow the out breath to be slightly longer than the in breath, slowly releasing the exhale, this is good for releasing tension. (This supports the calming part of the nervous system to activate)
  4. As you breathe in say to yourself, I am peaceful (or relaxed or calm or any word that you prefer) as you breathe out say to yourself I am letting go of… tension, anxiety , stress or whatever you want to let go of . (This instructs your mind as to how you want to feel, building flexibility and what you need your body to let go of right now)
  5. Think of someone, something or some event in your life for which you are grateful. Once you think of it concentrate more on the feeling of gratitude in your body and if you can imagine a dimmer switch turning up the feeling. (This stimulates positive chemicals in the nervous system releasing positive hormones)
  6. Sending compassionate wishes to yourself and others who you may not know but are suffering in some way, using the universal loving kindness practise of May I/we be…. healthy, able to cope right now, patient with those around me.. or whatever kind wishes, or reassurance are most important to you when you do this practise - this may change from one day to the next.

This short breathing practise will help you get started.

Mindfulness offers a range of tools and the science behind it is evidencing the positive impact on depression, stress (reducing anxiety) and how it enhances our wellbeing (resourceful state). Research has also identified the positive effects of uplifting emotions such as gratitude, kindness and compassion on ourselves and those around us.

My Possible Self: Mental Health App

My Possible Self: Mental Health App

University staff can now access the ‘My possible self app’ completely free. Download the app to your phone and start tracking your mood, listen to insightful podcasts or practice mindfulness, there are so many great tools!

How to get started:

  1. Log into your company registration page using and password: SoD2021!
  2. Create your personal account
  3. Verify your email address
  4. Download the app - available on iTunes or Google Play – search for My Possible Self: Mental Health. If you’d prefer to use the programme from your desktop, follow this link
  5. Select 'Already got an account' and log in using your personal account information


Pause for MenopauseWe are aware of how menopause can impact you in the workplace. Our wellbeing team has purchased some desk fans, portable neck fans and lightboxes to help staff manage some of their symptoms. All items can be rented out from Chaplaincy.

If after one month of renting an item you have found it useful in managing your symptoms, you can ask your manager to purchase you your own one as part of your reasonable adjustments.

Check out our Menopause Toolkit
This is where you find our Menopause Policy, guidance, relevant training and more: Menopause Toolkit

Join our University Menopause Network
A safe place to share resources and your experiences. Please contact Ceit Mackintosh for more information.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on how we can support you please email:


It may seem obvious, but sleep is hugely important when you’re studying. Getting a good night’s sleep (7-9 hours) will help you to learn at your best, improve your state of mind and hopefully feel happier!  

Having good sleep hygiene can improve our overall sleep quality. Here are some simple ways to your chances of a good night’s sleep: 

  1. Keep your bedroom tidy and clean. 
  1. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day (even at weekends). 
  1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol for at least 4 hours before bedtime. 
  1. Exercise regularly but leave at least 3 hours before you go to bed. 
  1. Have a bedtime ritual such as brushing your teeth, setting the alarm or reading a book. 
  1. Only go to bed when you feel sleepy. 
  1. Make sure not to go to bed hungry or thirsty or too full. 
  1. Limit how much ‘blue light’ you have just before bedtime (TV, computer, phone or tablet). 
  1. Keep your bedroom only for sleep, do not study or watch TV in your bed. 
  1. Ensure your bedroom is dark and at a comfortable temperature. 
  1. Use relaxation exercises to help you sleep (warm bath, relaxation podcast etc). 
  1. If you cannot fall asleep within 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing. 

In Summer: 

  • Fix blackout/blinds curtains and turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment. 

In Winter: 

  • If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), try using a SAD lamp after seeing your GP. This may help you stay awake during the daytime. 

For more information about ways to improve your sleep please visit National Sleep Foundation. 

Staying Active

Looking after our physical health is an important part of our daily lives. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can boost energy, improve mood and prevent certain health conditions. 

Regular exercise is important when you are studying as it improves your concentration; making you feel more alert and less fatigued so you can better focus on your learning. 

The UK national recommendations for exercise are 30 minutes a day. 

Find out more. 

Aberdeen Sports Village


The University provides FREE off-peak memberships for Aberdeen Sports Village to all its employees, enjoy its world class facilities for free including access to pool and sauna and all off peak fitness classes. 

Off peak memberships allow users to access the fitness suite and classes from 06.30-16.30 Monday to Friday (last entry 16.00), and anytime at weekends.

On your first visit to ASV, please take your Staff ID card along to reception.  You will be asked to complete a short membership application form and the ASV team will then activate your membership (Staff ID) card for you.

If you refer a friend, their ASV membership will cost just £30 per month.  more information

Upgrade options

Staff can upgrade their free off-peak membership to a peak membership (access to ASV's facilities during all opening hours) for just £10.50 per month.

To upgrade, please contact ASV directly by emailing or speaking to a member of staff at their aquatics or sports centre reception. Click here to learn more about your staff membership, including the benefits of upgrading your membership. Please note that any amendments to your membership may take a few days to activate.

Visit the Sports Village Website

Active Travel

Active travel is a convenient, accessible and affordable way for people to be physically active. Active travel is about choosing to walk, cycle or scoot short journeys such as to, between and from our campuses.

Did you know?

  •  50% of all driven journeys in Scotland are less than 5km & 26% are less than 2km
  • The positive impacts of active travel include reduced congestion, pollution and carbon emissions as well as better physical, mental and social health

If you would like to join the Active Travel Club click on the link and use the code: 6p04sa

Active travel hub can help you with the following:

  • Route planning in Aberdeen
  • Bike maintenance issues and advice
  • Help you plan your active travel commute to campus or between campuses
  • Anything else we can do to make active travel more accessible to you

Email us with any questions at

Check out the link below for a map with campus facilities and route suggestions between campuses.

Active Travel Map

Medal Routes