Health & Wellbeing

UCA recognises the importance of providing a safe and healthy environment for all of its staff and students to flourish.

The University has a Health & Wellbeing policy which provides a framework within which the University will encourage and facilitate working practices and services that support employee health and wellbeing; minimise wherever possible the detrimental impact of work-related stress on all staff and their work; and ensure that staff are appropriately supported in their workplace.

We have a range of services to support both physical and mental health and wellbeing, and these services are listed below for your reference.

Remote working – Looking after your Physical & Mental Wellbeing

The Covid 19 pandemic is having an impact on the health of our loved ones, the businesses we rely upon, the health of the global economy, and the way we live and work in our daily lives.

As we all try to navigate our way through these unprecedented times, we will stick together as a community at UCA and support the Health, Safety &  Wellbeing of our staff and students whilst we adapt to the new ‘remote working’ environment. 

We have pulled together some useful resources and information around keeping healthy and safe whilst working from home and focusing on physical and mental wellbeing.

We will be continuing to build on these wellbeing resources over the next few weeks and months, so if there are any topic areas that you would like us to explore, please let us know: 

ehilton2@uca.ac.uk or jonathan.barker@uca.ac.uk

Health & Wellbeing Services

  • Mental Health First Aid

    The University promotes positive and early conversations around mental health and we have a range of services available to support this, including Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

    We have trained Mental Health First Aiders on all of our campuses who are there to support our staff and students with a range of mental health issues and concerns.

    Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an educational programme which helps us to better understand and support persons who may be struggling personally, or who may possibly be developing a mental health issue.

    We  offer a half day ‘Lite’ MHFA course, as well as a 2-day MHFA session for all staff who want to gain basic knowledge about common mental health issues and how to offer support.  If you are interested in finding out more or you want to book onto a course, please contact the Learning and Development team: ldev@uca.ac.uk.

    UCA has a suite of resources, guidance and advice on how to support employees experiencing mental health issues, as well as information on how to help create a healthy workplace, on the myLearning section of myUCA as well as on the Wellbeing section of these website pages.

    TIME TO TALK

    If you or a member of your team would like to speak with one of our Wellbeing Advocates please consider using the 'Time to Talk - Virtual Tool'.

    • With the majority of staff now working from home,  UCA are providing an opportunity for staff to contact a Mental Health First Aider / Wellbeing advocate if they need some support & a listening ear, so we are making “Time to Talk” a virtual tool.  
    • Please note this is not a guidance or counselling service, the Mental Health First Aiders are there to listen, talk and to help you find the right support.
    • The Mental Health First Aiders /  Wellbeing advocates will be contactable on an open forum Microsoft Teams group. If you search ‘Time to Talk’ in the toolbar along the top of the home screen.
    • Alternatively, you can email timetotalk@uca.ac.uk, for more private communication. This will be monitored by UCA Mental Health First Aiders & Wellbeing advocates 
    • Every Wednesday, there will also be a weekly Teams ‘wellbeing chat’ which is open to everyone to join.
  • Employee Assistance Programme

    The University offers a free and Employee Assistance Programme through 'Workplace Wellness' offering information, advice and support - 24 hours a day, via telephone, online and face to face on a wide range of topics including Work/Career, Relationship/Family, Money Management & Debt and Health & Wellbeing. 

    The EAP offers unlimited access to advice, information and coaching and counselling where appropriate. 

    Any employees wishing to use this service phone: 0800 111 6387

    www.my-eap.com/login - Password: UCAwell

    Onward referral to a relevant voluntary and/or professional service may be made where appropriate.  If you have any queries about this service, please contact the Human Resources team on 2674 or the Health, Safety & Wellbeing team on Ext 2657

  • Occupational Health Service

    The University runs a core Occupational Health provision, which includes advice and medical health referrals. Our providers are:

    • The Robens Institute, Guildford; and
    • PHC Ltd, 20/20 Business Park, Maidstone.

    An Occupational Health Referral is recommended in the following circumstances:

    • In cases of long term absence (greater than 20 days) or repeated periods of short term absence;
    • Where an individual has been involved in a workplace accident/ill health; and
    • Where a temporary or permanent health condition or disability has been declared.

    The general purpose of the Occupation Health referrals is to:

    • Assess the impact of any medical/health conditions;
    • Consider whether the individual is fit for work / able to return to work;
    • Prognosis of medical/health condition;
    • Any restrictions on the type of activities/work to be undertaken; and
    • Define the support or adjustments required.

    Access to the Occupational Health Service should be made via the Human Resources Department. Any reports from Occupational Health will be treated confidentially and any recommendations will be communicated to the individual and Line Manager as appropriate.

  • Health Surveillance

    The University provides a range of health surveillance tests for those staff who regularly work with hazardous substances. Health surveillance takes place every 1-2 years and is arranged via Human Resources. In between this time, staff who experience any health symptoms which may have arisen from work with hazardous substances should discuss this with their Line Manager as soon as possible.

    Health surveillance includes;

    • Lung function tests;
    • Skin checks; and
    • Audiometric testing.

    Please contact the Health and Safety team for more information on Ext. 2657.

  • UCA Wellbeing Support Services – Staff

    Time to Talk -Wellbeing Advocates

    • With the majority of staff now working from home,  UCA are providing an opportunity for staff to contact a Mental Health First Aider / Wellbeing advocate if they need some support & a listening ear, so we are making “Time to Talk” a virtual tool.  
    • Please note this is not a guidance or counselling service, the Mental Health First Aiders are there to listen, talk and help you find the right support.
    • The Mental Health First Aiders & Wellbeing advocates will be contactable on an open forum Microsoft Teams group. If you search ‘Time to Talk’ in the toolbar along the top of the home screen.
    • Alternatively, you can email timetotalk@uca.ac.uk, for more private communication. This will be monitored by UCA Mental Health First Aiders & Wellbeing advocates 
    • Every Wednesday, there will also be a weekly Teams ‘wellbeing chat’ which is open to everyone to join.

    Wellbeing Webinar Series 

    • We are currently looking at offering a series of ‘Wellbeing Webinars’ to support staff. Topics covered will be around: Remote Working & keeping the mind and body healthy; the importance of sleep; how to cope with uncertainty, stress & fear.
    • The Health, Safety and Wellbeing ‘workplace group’ is also updated weekly with articles & relevant posts.

    MY UCA /My Learning and Development

    • In addition, the Learning and Development team also have several resources & supporting materials around remote working and on their ‘Virtual Toolkit’ which can be found on myUCA. There are useful resources on; remote working, delivering webinars & online teaching, virtual meetings, managing remote teams and wellbeing.
    • Contact the Health, Safety & Wellbeing team or HR /L&D team if you are looking for something in particular or if there are further topics you would like to explore. Please also get do contact us if you have any concerns for yourself or anyone in your team.

     

    Wellbeing self-assessment tools

    These can be a helpful way for us to check if we are effectively managing our own physical and mental health and get advice on how we could choose to make improvements.

    Below are links to three self-assessment tools that will enable you to learn more about your health and your resilience. Each tool can provide individuals with tailored feedback along with guidance and recommendations.

    How Are You? - this quiz asks questions about health behaviours (e.g. physical activity, diet, smoking) to let you know how you are. It takes about 5-10 minutes to complete and provides links to useful resources, such as apps and web resources.

    How Resilient Are You? - this quiz helps to assess how resilient individuals are and provides advice and guidance to become more resilient. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

    i-resilience - this can be used alongside the How Resilient Are You? if individuals would like to get a deeper understanding of your resilience and how you might respond to workplace pressures based on an individual’s resilience profile. It takes around 10-15 minutes to complete.

    Where staff take active steps to look after their wellbeing, this can help individuals deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on their life. This is sometimes called developing emotional resilience.

    Resilience is not just someone’s ability to bounce back, but also their capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing. Resilience isn't a personality trait – it's something that we can all take steps to achieve, for more information see: Mind.org.uk

    All of these tools are external and publically available with their own privacy policies and the University does not have access to any information that you enter into these tools. 

  • Other Support / Professional Organisations

    In addition to the above services, there are many external service providers which you may like to contact for additional support.

    UCA Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) with Vita Health Group.
    The EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online or on the phone to provide the expert help, information and support you need.  Just be aware they are experiencing a high volume of calls at this time but phone lines are open 24/7. Call 0800 1116 387 any time or visit: www.my-eap.com . username: UCAWELL

    Mind
    A charity offering information and support for mental health. Read more about anxiety and how you can help those struggling here.

    There is also some resources around Covid-19 and anxiety - https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

    NHS website
    Find information on anxiety and facts on coronavirus here.

    Samaritans
    The Samaritans provide 24 hours support to people experiencing distress or mental health crisis

    Telephone: 116 123

    No panic
    No Panic provides help to those experiencing panic and anxiety-related problems

    Telephone: +44 (0)844 967 4848 (Helpline)

    Sane Line
    SANE provides emotional support and

    information to anyone affected by mental illness,

    including families, friends and carers

    Telephone: +44 (0)300 304 7000

    SHOUT
    Shout is a mental health crisis helpline

    Telephone: 0800 915 4644 Text: SHOUT to 85258 

    GP
    How can your doctor help you with anxiety? Find out more here.

    Please see our mental health resources page for further information.

Contact us

If you would like more information please contact the team:

Email: hr@uca.ac.uk