Human Resources

Staff wellbeing

Find out about the range of tools and resources for University of Sussex staff to look after mental, physical and financial wellbeing. Also see advice for managers and remote working guidance.

Mental wellbeing

Looking after our mental health is important for all of us. Just like with physical health, there are things that we can all do to help our mental wellbeing. Here are some resources that you may find useful:

graphical image for Thrive appMy Health Advantage App

MyHealthAdvantage is an evidence-based smartphone app providing in-depth tools and support for anyone to improve their mental wellbeing.

Occupational Health Provider

The University's Occupational Health provider, Heales, has given staff and students access to their health and wellbeing portal - please copy and paste the following link into your web browser https://www.heales.com/tl/GBxqCZYv.

Meditation

Meditation is about self-awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. It’s about observing your thoughts and feelings without judgement, helping you achieve clarity of mind.

Video: Meditation exercises by Christopher McDermott, Lead Chaplain

Calm – Here you will find a curation of meditation content hand-picked to support your mental and emotional wellness through this difficult time.

Togetherallgraphic logo for togetherall website

Togetherall is now available to Sussex students and staff - twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

The online platform includes tools to help you understand and manage your mental health.

There are self-assessments and recommended resources, as well as a wide-range of self-guided courses to do at your own pace.

It offers a community where members are anonymous to each other and can offer support.

The service is clinically managed with trained professionals available 24/7 to keep the community safe and signpost to mental health services.

Everyone at the University can access the service for free at any time, on any day. Simply register online using your University email address.

If you’re struggling to cope, feeling low or need a place to talk, Togetherall can help you to explore your feelings in a safe, supportive environment.

Staff Workshops and E-learning

We provide a range of e-learning and virtual workshops for staff to support your mental wellbeing.

Supporting your wellbeing during times of change and uncertainty: In this learning path on LinkedIn, you can gain immediately applicable skills to support your well-being during times of change and uncertainty. Twenty curated courses cover topics such as practising mindfulness and meditation; managing anxiety, depression and stress; calming your mind; and restoring your body.

photo of someone using a laptop

The following programmes are all available on our staff e-learning platform, LearnUpon. Log in to LearnUpon and choose the category Wellbeing in the Catalogue to enrol on any of these courses.

Mental health in the workplace: Despite increased media coverage, there is still a stigma associated with mental health in the workplace. The aim of this course is to remove or reduce that stigma. There are no easy answers or sure-fire solutions. However, by creating space and time to talk about wellbeing, we can ensure that we are able to support those who suffer with their mental wellbeing and improve our own resilience.

Mental wellbeing and resilience: This short course on mental wellbeing in the workplace covers wellness, building resilience to challenges and general mental wellbeing.

Supporting others: This module explores how to start connections that could help your colleagues. It looks at empathy, creating a listening space, keeping in touch, and boundaries.

Managing your own self-care and wellbeing: This course looks at some techniques, tools and tips that may have a positive impact upon your mental wellbeing. Just like physical wellbeing, we need to constantly monitor our mental wellbeing or fitness, to make sure that we have the right habits.

Mental health: stress less: Using a combination of real-life stories, expert insight and original drama, this course looks at the nature of stress and its impact on our health and explains what we can do to combat it and support our general mental well-being.

Further Resources

How to deal with change and uncertainty during COVID-19

Coping with going into work during coronavirus - If you’re going into work during the coronavirus pandemic, our guidance may help you feel more able to cope. Our information provides tips for understanding difficult feelings, taking care of your mental wellbeing and where to find support.

Bereavement and grief - Information on where to go for support for bereavement, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief.

Physical wellbeing

photo of feet walking through woodland

Looking after your wellbeing and physical health can be beneficial to helping your mental health. This section includes information on exercise, meditation and getting a good night's sleep.

Exercise

Getting enough exercise and being active can be important for both your mental and physical health. Moderate exercise can help to improve your mood and general wellbeing and help you to feel better about yourself. Regular exercise can also lower the risk of physical diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Being more active can help you to be a healthier weight.

You can get involved in some of the activities we provide here at the University of Sussex:

Online exercise classes with Sussexsport

Also see:

Activity level for adults.pdf [PDF 534.02KB]

How to fit activity into your working day.pdf [PDF 52.83KB]

Desk based mobility & movement

Eating Well

Image of a plate of vegetables and grains

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Refer to the Eatwell NHS guide to find out more about the what that looks like in practical terms.

The Eatwell Guide (from the NHS)

Sleep

Getting enough good sleep is an essential part of looking after our health. There are many possible benefits to having enough sleep, such as improved concentration; helping maintain a healthy body weight; and improving immune function. Calm provides a range of resources to help with sleep.

Further Resources

How to fall asleep faster and sleep better

Financial wellbeing

Photo of a handful of coinsFinancial wellbeing is about a sense of security and feeling as though you have enough money to meet your needs. It's about being in control of your day-to-day finances and having the financial freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life.

Financial wellbeing: This website defines the concept of financial wellbeing and provides ideas and support for maintaining it.

Debt and money: This site provides you with the information you need to make the right choices, including help to deal with your debt problems, how to avoid losing your home and how to get your finances back into shape.

Budget Planner is part of the Money Advice Service and provides a free planner to put you in control of your household spending.

How to cope with money worries

Feeling low or anxious is a normal response when you’re struggling with debt.

You can find advice and support on the NHS website.

Managers: Your responsibilities for the wellbeing of your staff

photo of two colleagues talking

As managers and leaders we have a duty of care to support the wellbeing of those who report to us. These resources can help all of us in understanding that responsibility and putting it into practice.

Long Covid

Those who are diagnosed with Long Covid and for whom there are chronic ill health problems (hopefully rare but possible) could be defined as disabled under the Equalities Act.

If you are a manager of a member of staff who has Long Covid, please be aware of this and consider Occupational Health assessments, adjustments and conversations that check in on how staff are feeling and coping. 

The Occupational Health Service offers advice on health, safety and wellbeing at work. The service works to prevent work-related ill-health, reduce risks to health from occupational hazards and promote health and safety.

Supporting staff caring for children - information from MIND.

A Guide to Managing Remote Workers and specific, research-based steps that managers can take to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees.

Staff Workshops and E-learning

The law and wellbeing conversations

Managing people requires a variety of skills. You need to navigate productivity, personal development and personal wellbeing of your staff. This course explores the legal side of mental wellbeing and best practice approaches to starting conversations. It also explores the importance of wellbeing action plans. It maps out the challenges that managers may face and where they can get support from within and outside the University.

Log in to LearnUpon and search for Law in the Catalogue to enrol on this course.

Further resources

Keep it real: seven principles for leading virtual or hybrid teams

Covid-19 Line Managers Guide.pdf [PDF 339.71KB]

Building an active culture.pdf [PDF 792.46KB]

Resources to support your employees.pdf [PDF 477.21KB]

Five tips for improving as a manager of a distributed team

How to motivate colleagues when the chips are down

People managers' guide to mental health

ACAS – approaching sensitive conversations about mental health

Mental Health Staff Forum updates

In December 2020 we developed the Mental Health forum (MHF), which is led by Sharon Neal, Assistant Director of Culture and Inclusion.

The group consists of 67 representatives from across the University.

The aim of the MHF is to improve the provision of mental health support across the university.

These are our key priorities by the end of 2021:

  • Mental health awareness training for managers, including making this mandatory
  • Develop a Mental Health First Aiders’ network
  • Develop a wellbeing policy that includes mental health
  • Mirror student mental health and wellbeing provision
  • Create informal spaces for staff to meet to support each other/share experience

This is what we have achieved so far:

  • We have increased awareness about the training for managers and have approached different Schools, teams and departments to look at different ways of upskilling managers to enable them to have wellbeing conversations.
  • A group of 16 individuals from across the university signed up to complete Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training in July. We also provided a refresher to individuals with an existing MHFA qualification.
  • We have launched a new wellbeing and mental health policy.
  • We have established some further signposting information that can be added to the wellbeing hub to give staff access to urgent support.We are currently working on adding this. In addition, we will be doing some further work to raise awareness of the wealth of resources on the wellbeing hub and make it more accessible.

We will continue to progress in all of these areas and update you accordingly.

In the meantime if you would like to contribute in any way please email any of the individuals below:

Sharon Neal, S.F.Neal@sussex.ac.uk

Rose Pringle, R.Pringle@sussex.ac.uk

Wellbeing and Mental Health Policy

Click to download the University's Staff Wellbeing Policy.

Dignity and Respect

Bullying or harassment is never OK. 

Report + Support is the University's online tool, for you to find support, report anonymously or ask to speak to an adviser.

Find out more about dignity and respect at Sussex.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

The EDI webpage provides advice for staff including resources from national disability charities and organisations.

Wellness Action Plans

Wellness Action Plans [DOCX 18.25KB]

Supporting your mental health at work

The WAP is an evidence-based system used worldwide by people to manage their mental health. The WAPs are a personalised, practical tool that can be used by all – whether we have a mental health problem or not – to help us identify what keeps us well at work, what causes us to become unwell, and how to address a mental health problem at work.

Employee Assistance Programme

Health Assured are a specialist highly professional organisation that can provide a range of help at difficult times. There is a 24 hour / 365 days-a-year telephone helpline that can provide counselling and specialist advice on a range of matters.

In some circumstances, if face-to-face counselling is appropriate this will be arranged with a suitable counsellor that is convenient to you.

You can call the EAP helpline on 0800 316 9337 24/7, 365 days a year

Visit legalandgeneral.com/eap Using access code: worklife and password: worklife

Mobile / Tablet - iOS and Android App – search “My Health Advantage” access code: workhealth

The service is confidential and staff can self-refer themselves. There is no need to inform your line manager and Health Assured will keep all their contact with you completely confidential. Whether is it a family matter, moving house, moving job, a major life event, neighbourhood concerns, consumer rights, or even a brush with the law, they can provide advice and help - and signpost you to more specialist services if they think that you need to access them.