Workplace Health, Advice & Services

Workplace Health, Advice & Services

Many of us spend the largest proportion of our time in the workplace so creating a healthy, safe and supportive work environment is essential to help us feel comfortable, healthy and happy at work.

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

Workplace Dignity Network

The Workplace Dignity Network aims to provide support to staff who would like to chat through wellbeing concerns. This could be in relation to bullying/harassment, stress, work relationships, work/life balance or mental health issues. The Network members are a listening ear. Sometimes it just helps to share an issue and discuss it. The Network can also signpost you to other sources of support which you may not have considered previously.

If you would like to contact a member of the Network, you can find their contact details below. You may wish to meet with someone who works outwith your area of work. You can contact any of the Network members and request to meet with them. The discussion will take place in a location that you are fully comfortable with.

Your Network contact will listen to your concerns and will be guided by your preferences regarding how you wish to proceed. They may provide you with alternative sources of support. Together you will decide what your next steps could be and your contact will provide information on the routes open to you.

The Workplace Dignity Network has received training, but they are not counsellors, mediators or mental health experts. They will, however, be able to provide advice on the University providers of these services.

The conversations will, unless there are very exceptional circumstances, be kept in the strictest confidence.

Your contact will, at the start of the meeting, ask you to agree to the code of conduct for the Service.  This ensures that both the staff member and the Network member are treated with respect throughout the discussions.

For further information about the Workplace Dignity Network, contact Janine Chalmers, Equality and Diversity Adviser on or 01224 273883.


Network Members

Heather Crabb, Senior Governance & Executive Support Officer, Directorate of Planning & Governance

Photograph of Heather Crabb

Heather joined the University in 1999 and is currently Senior Governance & Executive Support Officer in the Directorate of Planning & Governance.  Between 1999 and 2014, she supported members of staff and managers across all areas of the University as a member of the Human Resources team. 

Since 2013, Heather has been the key point of contact between the University and the DFN Project SEARCH University of Aberdeen programme which supports young people with learning disabilities to gain skills and experience to move into employment.  She was a founder member of the Harassment Advisers Network and so has experience of dealing with a wide range of sensitive and confidential matters.

Heather is happy to support colleagues from all areas of the University who feel they would benefit from speaking to a member of the Workplace Dignity Network.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 272404

Lisa Clydesdale, Postgraduate Admissions Officer, Student Recruitment and Admissions

Lisa ClydesdaleI have been working at the University for over 20 years in administrative and student facing roles. My current role is in Postgraduate Admissions within the Student Recruitment and Admissions Team.

I have some previous nursing experience and I have completed a BScHons in Health Sciences (Health Promotion) at the University. During my degree studies I spent time on placement with ChildLine and I am currently undertaking a Counselling Skills course.

I am passionate about positively promoting health and wellbeing, as well as openness around mental health issues.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273606

Moira Cruickshank, Research Fellow, Health Service Research Unit

I have been at the University since 2002, when I returned to full-time education as a mature student. I completed my BSc, MRes and PhD in psychology, before becoming a Research Fellow in the Health Services Research Unit in 2011.

I have undertaken courses in counselling skills, workplace coaching and mental health first aid. I firmly believe in the power of listening as a way of helping and supporting people to find a way through problems that is best for them. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can help in any way.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 438412

Christina Cameron, Project and Strategy Officer, Estates and Facilities Management

Christina CameronI have worked at the University since 2008 in a variety of roles in Estates, Registry, Planning, and Student Life. In my current role, I’m a Project and Strategy Officer in Estates and Facilities Management. I have a small child, and work four days a week. As well as completing the Mental Health First Aid training, I worked for 18 months as part of the Equality and Diversity team helping with University initiatives including Athena SWAN and our staff network groups.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 274189

Brian Paterson, Technician, School of Natural and Computing Science

Brian has been a member of technical staff in the university since 1992, getting involved in the wellbeing of support staff initially, by becoming a union representative in 2000.

He became a Harassment Advisor from the inception of the role and been involved in the discussion and creation of the expanded role of Wellbeing Coordinator.

He is a trained first-aider and has recently undertaken Mental Health First Aid training as well as being an active member of the university’s Employee Engagement Group and Mental Health Working Group.

He has extensive experience of working with colleagues to address individual and collective issues both informally and formally and is always able to have a quiet chat with anybody in the community who feels they need some advice or assistance.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273804

Patricia Spence, Centre Manager, Centre for Academic Development

I have worked at the University in various roles for nearly 20 years and am now the Manager of the Centre for Academic Development which is part of the Directorate of Academic Affairs.

I have held line management positions in Professional Services areas for most of the time I have worked here and currently manage a team of around thirty staff including full-time, part-time and temporary roles.

Having been a line manager for most of my working life, and a Harassment Adviser for several years, I’m pleased to now be a Staff Wellbeing Coordinator. My line management and life experience has given me a particular interest in mental ill health and I have recently completed the Mental Health First Aid Training Course. I have also had training in work-based coaching, something which can support a positive approach to tackling difficult circumstances in the work environment.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 27 3924

Nicola Stokes, Administrative Coordinator, Postgraduate Research School

Nicola StokesMy name is Nic and I am a part-time secretary within Registry. Prior to joining the University, I worked for many years within the Social Care Sector in several areas including Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Children and Families (particularly with families affected by Postnatal Depression) and Learning Difficulties/Disabilities.

I became involved with the Wellbeing Co-ordinator programme as I wanted to be a ‘listening ear’ to colleagues finding their work and/or personal life difficult at present. For many, simply talking about a ‘problem’ will often be the first step to dealing with the situation in a positive and pro-active way.

I have both personal and professional experience within Mental Health services and hope to contribute to reducing any stigma felt by colleagues and making the University a truly supportive environment for both staff and students.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273625

Carol Lawie, Executive Assistant, School of Law

Carol LawieI’m Carol Lawie, an Executive Assistant in the School of Law. I have been working in the School of Law since 2004, and have recently been appointed as a Staff Well-being Co-ordinator. A proportion of my day-to-day role involves helping UG students with any personal issues they may face while studying here. This experience means that I am a good listener, well -versed in pointing people in the right direction to seek help to solve their issues and concerns.

I feel very strongly that it’s important for people to have the opportunity to discuss any issues they have impartially and seek support when they need it. Last year I undertook the Scottish Mental Health First Aid Course, which I found extremely useful and insightful, having deployed some of the recommended strategies with recent student queries.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 272441

Support Services

For information on the support available to you as a staff member including the employee assistance programme, occupational health, counselling, mental health first aid, online reporting tool and disability support click here.

Staff Equality Networks

For information on the staff equality networks including the LGBTQ+ network, parent and carers network, menopause network, race equality network, disability network and more click here.

Workstation Set Up

For information and support on enhancing your workstation set up click here.

Display Screen Glasses

If your job requires you to wear glasses to operate display screen equipment the University will contribute (up to £50) towards the costs of frames, lenses and any special prisms or tinting requirements for Display Screen usage.

More information can be found within the Expenses & Benefits Policy here

A How to Guide on how to make an expense claim for prescription glasses can be found below.

Returning to work after ill mental health

1:4 people will experience a mental health problem each year and we want to ensure you can access support if you need it. 

Your line manager should be in touch with you during your period of absence and will work with you to put in any adjustments you may need for your return.  Discussions with you about adjustments are confidential and they are aimed at assisting you to effectively manage your time in work. Examples include increased flexibility, variable working hours, amendments to contracted hours (temporary, phased return), arriving at work later or leaving earlier to avoid very busy periods or slight alterations to roles and responsibilities. Reasonable adjustments are tailored to individual circumstances, and your line manager and/or HR Partner can help you to explore these further. 

If you have a mental health condition that meets the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010 you may also be able to access additional support at work through the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service. You can speak to your line manager or HR Partner confidentially about this further.

More information and advice about eligibility is available at: