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Staff Stories

"There’s nothing better than a run alone, or with friends, followed by a hot shower and a coffee"
You need to find what works for you. For me, it’s running

I’m a big believer in the idea that mental health and physical wellbeing go together, that one’s as important as the other.

When it comes to our own wellbeing, everyone needs to find out what works for them.

For me, it’s running. Always has been. It’s my passion. It’s also a bit of a safety valve – a release. For me, a run in the fresh air is the best way to start the day and to finish it. There’s nothing better than a run alone, or with friends, followed by a hot shower and a coffee. A solo run without music gives me time to sort out my thoughts, plan for the day ahead, or to process the one that’s just ended.

I benefit and so do the people around me

Image of Conor smiling with bright running jacket

And it doesn’t matter where: it could be on a treadmill at home or over the Cavehill mountain, close to where I live. Regardless, I get the same benefit from each run, and so the people around me – whether it’s colleagues, family or friends.

I mentioned earlier about running with friends. I’ve found that really important too. I find running with others a great way to open up and chat naturally about stuff. The barriers come down. Of course, running isn’t for everyone, I know that. But it gives me the balance that I think we all need that in life, more so now than ever perhaps. I think that everyone should try to find something that does that for them.

There are good resources available here

When you do need help, we’re lucky at Queen’s to be supported by Occupational Health professionals and Inspire Wellbeing.

Image of Conor running on treadmill

There are good resources available here, plus we have access to excellent staff training on Mental Health and Wellbeing, which is provided by AWARE and Action Mental Health. They are the real experts.

Inspire’s services are available 24/7 and are confidential. What’s more, Queen’s staff can access them directly by phone or email. You don’t have to be referred or go through management or Human Resources.

And, something else that’s really important is that your approach to them doesn’t have to relate to a work issue. It can be to talk about anything that has been causing you stress or anxiety.

A conversation is a great place to start

There are many things that can negatively act on your mental health and wellbeing. But you don’t have to suffer on your own. Help is there for you. And a conversation is a great place to start dealing with the situation.

It’s vitally important that there are resources and services available for crisis stations, but I think it’s equally important to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing in a positive way – encourage colleagues and students at Queen’s to open up about their own mental wellbeing and get better about spotting the signs of stress or anxiety in ourselves and others around us.

That can only benefit us all in the long run – no pun intended!

Image of Conor tying shoelaces on running track

Get Support

Mental Health issues can affect anyone at any time. But confidential, professional help is available through the University.

To find out more, click the button below:

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Image of staff member running through Botanic Gardens

Help is there for you. And a conversation is a great place to start