Staff Mental Health Prof Jo Smith Suicide Safer Project Lead Professor of Clinical Psychology University of Worcester e-mail: [email protected] Learning and Development Leads Meeting July 3rd 2019 National Employee Mental Health Survey (n>19,000) Business in the Community (2017) What about HE staff?
The Invisible Frontline: academics are struggling to respond effectively to student mental health and the HE sector does not have the appropriate structures or cultures to assist academics (Student Minds 2018) HE Staff Suffering Epidemic of Poor Mental Health (Health Education Policy Institute 2019) Its not just the students who are struggling to cope with the pressures of university life (Hayward, TOTUM 2019) Overall referrals of staff to occupational health services showed a strong upward trajectory (Guardian May 23rd 2019) In academic life, there are no peaks and troughs of work any more as the pace continues relentlessly throughout the year. (Morrish, HEPI 2019) Using Transactional Analysis to explore the role of PAT and its
Impact on wellbeing ( Williams, Goodall and Augustus 2019) Thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with n=26 UW PAT tutors in 2017 identified need for information, training, boundaries Re-explored data in context of The Drama Triangle (Karpman 1968) recommended PATS training about the drama triangle and responding differently in student encounters, supported by peer/line manager supervision
On Time to Talk Day 2017, Will and Becky sent an informal email to their departmental colleagues openly discussing their personal experiences of mental health challenges while at work. The response from colleagues was positive, with several other colleagues admitting they too had experienced moments of anxiety, stress, or depression, but had not felt able to talk about it before. The positivity created by this action helped to reduce stigma and break the taboo that sometimes keeps people in a professional work environment imprisoned within their own silence. Courage is doing what youre afraid to do. There can be no courage unless youre scared. (Eddie Rickenbacker) Staff groups bring mental wellbeing into open Employers breaking taboos by encouraging frank
discussion Tim Smedley Financial Times NOVEMBER 5, 2014 , The best advice I can give is: talk. Ask how colleagues are, mean it and listen to the answer David Kinder mental wellbeing network founder, The Treasury , The aim is to empower employees at all levels to be able to have open conversations about mental health, and to learn how to support each other. Caroline Wells, Head of Outreach, Financial Ombudsman Setting up such a staff MH group simply requires:
a quiet meeting room and a packet of biscuits, senior sponsorship, agreed terms of reference, group objectives and a yearly plan and budget Caroline Wells, Head of Outreach, Financial Ombudsman Social Movement: A Vehicle for Change Social movements can be viewed as collective enterprises seeking to establish a new order of life. They derive their motive power on one hand from dissatisfaction with the current form of life, and on the other, from wishes and hopes for a new system of living. The career of
a social movement depicts the emergence of a new order of life (Blumer, 1969: 99) Each of us individually does not count much. But together we are the strength of millions who constitute Solidarity Lech Walesa Normal view of change Movements view of change A planned programme of change with goals and
milestones (centrally led) Change is about releasing energy and is largely selfdirecting (top-led, bottom up) Motivating people Moving people Change is driven by an appeal to the whats in it for me There may well be personal costs involved
Talks about overcoming resistance Insists change needs opposition it is the friend not enemy of change People change themselves and each other - peer to peer Change is done to people or with them - leaders & followers Driven by formal systems change: structures (roles, institutions) lead the
change process Driven by informal systems: structures consolidate, stabilise and institutionalise emergent direction Leadership role Values and safety Supporting network
development and implementation Identifying information and resources Provide initial leadership and vision while network grows
Navigate obstacles Leadership is the art of mobilising others to want to struggle for shared aspirations We asked staff to host a tea party/pop up cafe... Borrowing the model from the Macmillan tea parties, we encouraged staff to host a pop up Time to Change 'drop in for a cuppa' session that encouraged colleagues to stop for 15 minutes in the workday to meet, chat and share ideas and experiences in relation to supporting wellbeing and positive mental health in the workplace So how did staff get involved?
Several Institutes and departments hosted pop up cafes... "Thank you for supporting the ISES pop-up caf, for Timeto-talk day...at least we were able to contribute to challenging 'the elephant in the room' in terms of talking about MH "The Primary Education team (about 10 of us) met and had a good chat about MH and the strategies we find useful to cope in the workplace. Staff commented that it was wonderful to have been given this opportunity to talk about MH- we are looking forward to the next Time to Talk day! "I just wanted to let you know that we have used our WBS five minute focus board located in the kitchen of Mulberry House at City Campus to try and raise awareness of Time to Talk Day and making Time to Talk in general"
Staff Mental Health Network (SMHN) Aims Offer the opportunity for peer support through sharing personal experiences and coping strategies with staff colleagues; Raise awareness and reduce stigma in relation to talking about mental health and seeking support within the University workplace: Share information and work together to improve the workplace experience for staff; Work collaboratively with other groups locally (within the University and with other organisations) to improve mental health support for staff and contribute toward mental health awareness and wellbeing in the University workplace. For more information email:
[email protected] Staff network Membership November 2017: 2 (I female, I male) March 2018: 8 (6 females, 2 males) July 2018: 15 (10 females, 5 males) November 2018: 20 (13 females, 7 males) May 2019: 40 (30 females, 10 males) Staff MH Network Feedback As someone who had a nervous breakdown last year going through to this summer, and having lived with anxiety and depression for some time, I cant thank you enough for the awareness raising that is happening now. I dont feel as afraid of speaking up about my condition as I used to. I am now in a place where I can give my colleagues the heads up when I have brain fog or dizziness from anxiety, and they have my back
straight away Becky Being a member of this group has had a positive impact on not just my work life, but my life in general. Talking to like-minded people who fully understand what Im going through and have been through is liberating. For the first time ... ever! I dont feel ashamed of struggling with being who I am (anxiety/depression included). . Im now more open and will say if Im having a tough day. Ive not experienced this type of support in other organisations Ive worked for; Id urge employers to consider this type of initiative. Margaret Peer Support not a Therapeutic Group Dont try and fix peers problems Its human nature to want to fix things, but Its not your job to make their mental health problem go away you dont have to have all the answers just listening can make a big difference
"I don't expect colleagues to fully understand my mental health problem, but when they acknowledge it must be difficult and don't dismiss my feelings, it helps a lot." Identifying resources and support staff can access when struggling A peer group is not designed to provide individual therapy or emergency support for colleagues who are struggling or in crisis it is important that you identify resources and support that staff can access and where to go to for help both within and outside of the organisation.
GREEN RIBBON CAMPAIGN MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK (14-20th May 2018) Inviting University staff and students to wear a green ribbon as a visible sign of support to help destigmatise mental health by: Creating a visible movement of support for ending the stigma Showing those struggling that there is support and they are not alone Demonstrating the level of support for this issue in your organisation Encouraging people to share their story and to create an inclusive cultures 1500 green ribbons made
and distributed On SU led campaign day: 500 ribbons and 70 stress hippos distributed 21 meaningful conversations (9 with staff members) Marking the lead up to Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20th May 2018) through a UOW 'Naked Blog :This is Me' campaign launch Blogs from members of the Staff Mental Health Network, talking about their own personal mental health challenges at work: - personal experiences and perspectives on mental health at work - experiences of supporting family members with mental health difficulties while working
- line manager perspectives on supporting staff who may struggle from time to time with their mental health Ive found it inspiring to read the stories this week on the blog. Im not sure what it entails to be part of the Staff Mental Health Network but if there is anything I can do to help with anything in this area Id like to be involved... staff member e-mail Kiss & Tell event The Staff Mental Health Network, run by staff, for staff, organised a Kiss & Tell event for World Mental health Day on October 10th 2018. A fun activity that earned a free lipstick as well as the opportunity to simply stop for a chat and decompress for 5 minutes.
Staff suggestion box comments Maybe someone to talk to impartially or somewhere to go Fancy a Cuppa for staff blended institutions both staff & students Respect everyones otherness. Be kind to colleagues. Practical signposting for emergency mental health first aid Consider the impact of type of contract and hours on staff wellbeing Setting up a time for cuppa year round for staff specifically More Fikas! More time for teams to get together and just talk Regular visits from therapy dogs Massages for staff students to come to train Mental health days, like sick days, without stigma or explanation required Have dedicated time/resources for staff to go to in times of need Managers to practice what they preach in regards to inclusivity of mental health issues.
Mental Health Awareness Week May 2019: Body Image Talk Series Talking, swapping ideas, and sharing experiences, these are great ways to tackle isolation and prevent people from feeling that they are the only ones who face these issues. This series of talks and workshops from the University of Worcester staff MH network and Time To Change are a part of that conversation. People may have direct lived experience of some of these issues, or they may simply want to find out more, either way, all are welcome, and in beginning to talk openly about these things, perhaps we can also begin to pull down some of the barriers that can imprison us in our own thinking, especially in relation to sensitive topics like body image. Menstrual and Menopausal Cycle Awareness Workshop
Eating Disorders Awareness Men, Muscle and Mental Health Fancy a FIKA? A relaxing coffee and cake break A Swedish Fika is often translated as "a coffee and cake break", but it is more than that. All Swedes consider it important to make time to stop and socialise: to take a pause. It refreshes the brain and strengthens relationships. It makes good business sense: firms have better teams and are more productive where fika is institutionalised. Fancy a FIKA? Dear Student Services and Peirson colleagues, You are invited to join our first Fancy a Fika? event in the Peirson kitchen Fika is a Swedish concept which many colleagues may be aware of roughly translated as coffee and cake break, but in Sweden it has a broader meaning based on taking a break
from work to socialise, strengthen relationships and refresh your brain! This is an opportunity to take a short break and unwind with colleagues. Fancy a Fika? Chatter and Natter Cafe tables Designated cafe tables designed to encourage people to talk and have simple interactions to combat loneliness and, hopefully, have a positive impact on someones day. The SU Hangar and the City Campus cafe now have a chatter and natter table available every day for all students and staff at the University of Worcester They are available for anyone to come along to talk, whether for just a few minutes or for an hour of good conversation.
Support for Staff Inspire and Share events: supporting staff in their pastoral care role across Schools (Inclusive practice, supporting students with MH difficulties, embedding MH in the student curriculum, sharing experiences, learning and resources) Student Services Supporting Distressed Students Guidance for staff supporting students in relation to a range of common difficulties, incl. MH problems: worcester.ac.uk/documents/signposting-student-support-guide-for-university-staff.pdf Training: Moodmaster' training, Mental Health First Aid training, Mindfulness, Counselling for NonCounsellors, Safe talk, ASSIST E-training: MindEd, Charlie Waller Memorial Trust (CWMT) MH modules for HE staff, AMOSSHE MH Conditions toolkit, HEE We Need to Talk about Suicide, Zero Suicide Suicide Prevention Training Web based information and resources (local and national): The Mix, Its Safe to Talk about Suicide leaflet, Safety planning app, Stay Alive suicide prevention apps, SHOUT Crisis texting service. Care First Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) : 24/7 confidential counselling support for staff: www.carefirst-lifestyle.co.uk, Username: uniofworc1, Password: staff Organisational resources from UUK www.universitiesuk>ac.uk
Suicide Safer Universities UUK/PAPYRUS guidance for University Leaders and Practitioners #stepchange how we can do more upstream to prevent mental health problems at University INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS (Mental Health Foundation 2018) Realise when work is causing you a problem, identify the causes and talk to your line manager/a colleague about this. Review your work style: Are you taking on too much? Are there things you are doing which could be handed over to someone else? Can you do things differently and prioritise/shed tasks? Build supportive relationships and social networks at work Self care actions: eat healthily/regularly, review your caffeine intake, take breaks/time out to chat/ walk/exercise Strike a balance between responsibility to others and to self Be mindful: helpful for managing/reducing stress, anxiety, poor
concentration, low mood Try to ensure you get enough rest: write down your to do list for the next day to help you to prioritise and park these plans before bed Dont be too hard on yourself: try to keep things in perspective, look for things in your work life that are positive/working well and write down things that feed your mood/confidence. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by your stress talk to your line manager and seek support and help for yourself.
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