Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the University was taking steps to ensure the wellbeing of its staff, and over the last few months some key steps have been taken to ensure a better collective response to enabling better mental wellbeing in the workplace.
These key steps include:
- Successfully recruiting some Mental Wellbeing Champions; part of their role will be to encourage more conversations about mental health.
- Fully and frequently updating our wellbeing resources for staff.
- Introducing online learning courses on how to manage mental wellbeing.
- Welcoming views from staff on ways to improve wellbeing through a dedicated mailbox.
The University’s commitment to improving mental wellbeing was assessed by Time to Change (an organisation funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, Comic Relief and the National Lottery Community Fund, supported by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness), just as the pandemic started. The University had planned a public signing for April this year, but that could not happen due to Covid restrictions.
The University recognise that the health of their employees is fundamental to the health of their students, as set out in the Mental Wellbeing Policy:
“Our intention is to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of our employees and to promote a supportive workplace culture based on trust, support and mutual respect. This is fundamental to ensuring the wellbeing of our students, as set out in the Student Wellbeing Strategy.
“The University will provide appropriate support for all employees experiencing poor mental health and associated problems. We will also encourage and enable a preventative approach by ensuring employees understand how to maintain good mental wellbeing and encourage open conversation, particularly though not only during periods of change…”
The pledge has been signed by Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston on behalf of all those working to support staff and students at the University of Gloucestershire.