Health and Wellbeing
Looking after your health and wellbeing is key to feeling good and functioning well both inside and outside work. It's important to recognise when you need some help to stay well – and to know where you can access information, advice and support. The University is committed to creating a compassionate culture that priorities the wellbeing of its people.
Our dedicated Staff Wellbeing site will be moving over to this section soon, but in the meantime you can visit the website here. For more information on how the University supports your wellbeing, click on the sections below.
Mental Health Framework and Training - 2019
As part of the commitments set out in our People & Culture Strategy, People First, we must ensure that Queen’s University is an inclusive, supportive and caring place to work.
It’s critical that we engage with our people in discussions around mental health, listening to your thoughts in order to an open culture and compassionate atmosphere where every employee feels comfortable to be themselves at work. In 2019, we are launching a new Mental Health Framework that sets out our approach to achieve this. All of our people will have the opportunity to attend awareness sessions and workshops delivered by trained professionals to raise awareness about mental health.
We’ve engaged with Aware NI who will deliver ‘Mood Matters’, a workshop session that focusses on raising awareness of your own mental health and helping you design positive coping strategies.
We’re also offering Mental Health First Aid, delivered by Action Mental Health. Specifically tailored to support employees and managers in a workplace environment, this course covers topics including identifying risk of harm, conducting sensitive and confidential discussions and positive action planning.
Our mental health focus will continue throughout the year with specific events including access to professional advice clinics and information days to mark Mental Health Awareness Week in May. We’ll have external experts on site to explore topics such as financial wellness, physical activity, addiction and more. All of this activity complements our existing Staff Wellbeing activity and dedicated staff counselling support available through INSPIRE (0800 389 5362).
Managing Stress at work
People often get confused about the difference between pressure and stress. We all experience pressure regularly – it creates a ‘buzz’ that can motivate us to perform at our best. ‘Stress’ itself is not a medical condition. It is clearly distinct from pressure and is defined as 'the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them’. It is when we experience too much pressure and feel unable to cope that stress can result.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates the costs to society of work-related stress to be around £4 billion each year, with 13.5 million working days lost to stress in 2007/08.
By taking action to reduce the problem, you can help create a more productive, healthy workforce and save money.
Occupational stress can be defined as ill-health and/or adverse work performance resulting from negative reactions to factors within the workplace.
It has become recognised as a significant contributor to ill-health and sickness absence. The University considers it important to minimise such stress among its staff and is fully committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment. To that end, the University will endeavour to prevent, as far as practicable, the occurrence of occupational stress; and where such stress does occur, to provide appropriate advice and support to individuals and line management.
There are six primary sources of stress at work:
- Demands – Includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment.
- Control – How much say do the people have over the way they work?
- Support – Includes encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues.
- Relationships – Includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.
- Role – Do people understand their role within the organisation, and does the organisation ensure roles are not conflicting?
- Change – How is organisational change (large and small) managed and communicated?
If you feel you are suffering from occupational stress you should raise this with your manager.
- Staff Support