Mental health and wellbeing
There are plenty of resources within the School and the University providing help and support for both staff and students in Informatics.
The first port of call for any student struggling with their mental health/ wellbeing is the Student Support team. This team is dedicated to all aspects of Informatics students' welfare, and works closely with students and Personal Tutors. You can arrange an appointment with the Student Support team by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This semester the Student Support Team are offering Virtual Drop-in support sessions where Informatics students are welcome to discuss anything worrying them in confidence. Go tot eh Student Support Team page on our intranet to find out more about these sessions.
Postgraduate students: The Wellbeing Thesis
The Wellbeing Thesis is an online resource for postgraduate research students, supporting their wellbeing, learning and research. The site includes research, top tips, videos and downloadable action plans. The resources are designed to support through every stage of the postgraduate research student journey, so whether at the beginning, middle or end of your research, there will be something here for you.
Staff members struggling with their mental health/ wellbeing should first speak to their line manager or supervisor, the InfHR team or the Head of School - whichever they feel most comfortable with. If you are lookign for further support, the University's HR - Health and Wellbeing and Occupational Health sites provide a lot of information and services available to staff across the University community.
The University's Soprts & Exercise team also offer a wide range of information and programmes with the goal of boosting physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Mental Health First Aiders
Several of our colleagues in Informatics have completed the First Aid Mental Health training course delivered by Mental Health Scotland to become Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs). The aim of this training is to look at ways to help others (and ourselves) in the event that anyone develops a mental health problem, experiences a worsening of an existing mental health problem or is in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. MHFAs are there to listen, to understand and to signpost where appropriate. Please be assured that reaching out to any MHFA is strictly confidential and if, for any reason, a MHFA is required to share your information it would never be done without your permission.
The Staff Counselling Service have lots of advice on managing stress and anxiety online and they are continuing to operate a service during the Coronavirus pandemic. they can be contacted by email or via their website
The University Chaplaincy welcomes students and staff of all faiths and none, providing a wide range of support and resources to help with worries and concerns. We have highlighted a select few of their many resources which we think will be most useful, but you can head to their website to see their full programme.
Chaplaincy Listening Service
The Chaplaincy runs a daily listening service during the week (Mon -Fri) where staff and students alike can get in touch to share their worries and concerns, and be listened to in confidence and without judgement. The Service offers appointments between 9:00 and 17:00 on weekdays, which can be booked via email, and the service aso offers 24/7 support for urgent issues. Support is available in person, by phone, by email or video conversation, offering easily accessible support across the University community.
Drop-in Mindfulness sessions with the Mindfulness Chaplain
The Chaplaincy's Mindfulness Chaplain, Kitty Wheater, offers lunchtime online drop-in mindfulness sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays. Kitty also circulates a weeky email on a mindfulness topic every week, called The MindLetter, which provides a welcome pause for breath amongst the many work emails. Go tot he MIndfulness sections of the Chaplaincy website to find more information and resources for Mindfulness practice.
For Times Like These Blog
When the pandemic hit the UK in March the Chaplaincy started a new blog entitled 'For Times Like These', offering a space for people to share their emotions, experiences and connect with each other despite being physically distant. The posts are written by the various Chaplains and so range from more spiritual to secular, but all are thought-provoking in the way they tackle our current feeling of uncertainty.