These webpages are intended to support Hope staff whether working from home or continuing to provide essential services on campus during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The External Relations team will be continuing to keep us updated via the Staff Bulletin. Please continue to send stories to firstname.lastname@example.org for the wider Hope community.
The Starting the new academic year page will continue to be updated with FAQs and key links to NHS, Government and other sources of information.
Visit our Hope Community Engagement web page for updates on what the Hope community is doing and what you can do to help the local community at this time. If you would like to contact the Community Engagement team please email email@example.com.
Are you missing those chance conversations with Hope colleagues on campus, where you might meet someone new or someone you haven't seen for a while?
Welcome to the Connect Cafe!
Colleagues old and new are invited to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be paired with a colleague from elsewhere in the University for a virtual coffee and chat.
Just let us know if you only work certain days, so that you can be well-matched. We will send each pair an email and leave the rest to you!
If you would prefer to reach out to a colleague you already know, but havent spoken to for a while, why not just drop them a line and invite them for a virtual coffee?
We are aiming to get as many people as possible together at the same time for the first Connect Cafe at 10.30am on Wednesday 10 March 2021, but really anytime would do - it's the connection that matters, not when it happens.
Specsavers opens for routine appointments
RESOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Here is a list of resources to help support you during the current climate. This page is being updated regularly so keep checking back for new resources.
If you are worried about your or another colleague’s mental well-being and would like some support, please don't hesitate to speak to your line manager or your HR Manager. Their details can be found here.
DO YOU NEED URGENT HELP?
Samaritans provide a 24/7 helpline on 116 123 and email facility at email@example.com.
UNIVERSITY COUNSELLING SERVICES
The University provides a counselling service for staff, this is a chance to take time out and take stock if you are facing difficulties or challenges in some aspect of your life. You can explore these with a counsellor. They will offer some immediate insights and coping strategies as appropriate and suggest possible ways forward using the most relevant approaches for you.
Staff counselling is provided by an external provider, Counselling Solutions Northwest. They can be contacted direct:
Phone: 0151 285 3777
EDUCATION SUPPORT PARTNERSHIP
The Education Support Partnership provides a 24 hours helpline to all staff working in education. There is also a web chat and email service and resources including a work-life balance test and videos about dealing with anxiety and loss.
Phone: 08000 562 561
Text: 07909 341 229
Live chat link: www.educationsupport.org.uk/helping-you/email-support
Merseycare now have an at-a-glance guide for local mental health services, including a 24/7 helpline for urgent support. Click here to see the guide.
Merseycare Liferooms are a free NHS service who provide a safe and welcoming space to meet others, access learning opportunities and learn about community resources.
Merseycare have also produced a range of useful self-help guides covering a wide range of issues including, anxiety, panic, stress, sleeping problems, low mood, depression, domestic abuse, and more).
Here are several resources from Talk Liverpool to help you maintain your psychological well-being during the Coronavirus outbreak. Click here
ALMA is Cheshire and Merseyside’s dedicated health and wellbeing website.
On ALMA you’ll find information and resources that will support your physical and mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Staff can access a range of online support programmes via Silvercloud, a service commissioned by the local NHS services. The support programmes are designed to help you to improve and maintain your well-being by addressing any underlying issues that can negatively impact how you would like to live your life.
Silvercloud is now available for free by entering the code 'CMHCP' on signing up for a course. Online courses are available on topics such as stress, resilience, sleep, and COVID-19. You can sign up here.
As well as this, users will have access to a knowledge base of health and wellbeing apps that have been evaluated by a medical professional for their clinical effectiveness.
The range of apps includes mental wellbeing, exercise and diet, smoking cessation, sleep, and much more.
NHS EVERY MIND MATTERS
Comprehensive advice from the NHS, including hints and tips, access to a personalised Mind Plan, and helplines and what to do if you need urgent help.
Information and support from Mind, including a Coronavirus and mental wellbeing hub, and information about self-care.
Mental Health First Aid England
This is a useful guide about supporting your mental health while working from home
The Mental Health Foundation
Good advice about looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
FACE COVID – HOW TO RESPOND EFFECTIVELY TO THE CORONA CRISIS
In this brief animation, Dr Russ Harris, author of the international best-seller The Happiness Trap, illustrates how to use ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to deal with the Corona crisis and the fear, anxiety, and worry that goes with it. Watch here
MARCH NETWORK'S CREATIVE ISOLATION
The MARCH Network is a mental health network focused on the power of bringing people together with social, cultural, and community assets. With more people socially and physically distancing themselves, they have shared a collection of home-based, creative ways to support mental health during these unique and uncertain times. Click here for more information.
Mental Health First England have created a helpful explanation about stress and resilience.
Mind have lots of information about stress.
If you are worried about work-related stress, speak to your line manager. If you want to spend some time thinking about work-related stress, there is a useful Work Pressure Identification Proforma you could use to structure your thoughts.
BEREAVEMENT, GRIEF AND LOSS
- Education Support Partnership Video and resourcesto support people dealing with grief and loss
- Cruse lots of resources and supportfor those dealing with bereavement and grief
- NHS, MINDand the Mental Health Foundation all provide information specifically for those dealing with grief following bereavement.
- Hub of Hope signposts to local bereavement support services
To download a printable list of links to support with Bereavement, Grief and loss see Help and Support for Bereavement, Grief and Loss.
If you, or someone you know, is affected by domestic abuse, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline can be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. It can be contacted on 0808 801 0327.
You may also wish to download the free Bright Sky mobile app, which provides support and information to anyone who may be experiencing domestic abuse or is concerned about someone in this situation.
Familiarise yourself with The Silent Solution system. If you call 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If you are unable to speak for fear being overheard, you can press 55. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
If it is safe to do so, you email your manager or hr manager to ask for help.
Everyone can play their part in helping those experiencing domestic abuse. http://uksaysnomore.org/listening-from-home/
The new #ListeningFromHome domestic abuse awareness campaign is encouraging family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours to be aware of, and report, signs of domestic abuse whilst the UK is in lockdown. The campaign advises:
- Check-in with victims but be mindful that communication channels may be monitored
- Call 999 if you are concerned for someone’s safety – the police are continuing to offer the same level of support as always
- Use Hestia’s Bright Sky app to contact specialist domestic abuse services
Working from home
We are encouraging staff to think about the following if they are working from home. We expect line mangers to stay in close contact with their teams, so that colleagues can stay in touch, share ideas, work together and raise any issues or concerns if they need to:
- if at all possible, try to set up a consistent temporary, or permanent, work area that will allow for a focus on work and separate work life from personal life
- establish a daily work routine with regular scheduled breaks away from your work area
- remember to stretch regularly: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/gym-free-workouts/
- change work position if you can, for example, if you don’t have a permanent desk set up, you could use a laptop and stand at your kitchen counter
- make sure to get some fresh air at lunchtime
- establish a daily work plan and try to proactively manage distractions which might interrupt focus
- build opportunities to connect with others into the day, whether this is with work colleagues or with friends during lunch breaks
- set ground rules if others occupy your work space to minimise you being disturbed at work, if possible
- if others occupy your workspace consider confidentiality regarding work calls and work materials
- remain aware of GDPR issues
- Staff Guidance on Data protection can be found here
- end the day with a routine that indicates the close of the working day
Setting up your workstation
A Working from Home Self-assessment Checklist has been made available to your line manager for their individual team members. It can also be found in the Risk Assessment and Guidance on Homeworking during Coronavirus document. Please return this to your line manager and raise any issues identified with them. This should be reviewed at least every 6 months.
Guidance on setting up DSE (display screen equipment) can be found in the Workstation Set Up Guide.
- If you are using a laptop, but don’t have a stand, you can use a lever arch file to tilt the keyboard, and get the top of the screen to eye level;
- If you need a spare keyboard, mouse and screen to connect to the laptop, speak to your manager.
- If you are using an ipad, try to get the top of the screen in line with your eye level by using books a box or a PC riser. If you have a Bluetooth keyboard, this would be ideal, but you could also use the microphone to minimise the amount of typing that you do.
- Change position regularly, and consider using your DSE standing up by using a stand up desk riser or your kitchen counter, to raise the level.
- Please do discuss any DSE issues or equipment requirements with your line manager.
Checking-in with colleagues during COVID-19
Since March 2020, University staff, like many others, have had to adapt to ways of working differently, whether on Campus or at home. Using a range of communication methods is key to keeping dialogue going between managers and teams as well as between co-workers. Many of us will already have found something that works for us. One method of connecting is a check-in conversation.
A Check-in conversation facilitates the opportunity to:
- Stay connected, combating feelings of isolation;
- Remain engaged, maintaining effective working relationships and receiving recognition;
- Communicate, discussing progress, recent work, changes in priorities, mental wellbeing and any concerns.
A Check-in meeting does not need to be long, and actually little and often are better.
When working differently it is a good idea to think about and agree in advance a method (phone/video call) and, to set up and stick to a routine wherever possible.
Formats may include:
- 10@10 – 10 mins daily for the team to connect together;
- Coffee catch up weekly;
- Individual one-to-one weekly timeslots;
- Daily drop in slots.
Ultimately this Check-in is for you and your colleagues, you can talk about work projects, and/or your personal wellbeing.
Ways to start your Check-in conversation, as a manager or a co-worker, may include:
- Let me share a quick (team) update
- How are things going?
- What are you working on at the moment?
- How happy do you feel about things right now?
- How do you find this way of working?
- What do you need from me?
- Let me share what I’ve been up to
- I thought… went well but how do you think it went?
- Is there anything else I should be focusing on?
- Is there anything I should be doing differently (to support you)?
- Can I ask for your support with something?
For help with speaking to your manager specifically about a mental health condition or your mental wellbeing, see How to talk to your manager about your mental health.
Meetings via video
Here are a few suggestions for minimising potential fatigue:
Avoid scheduling back to back meetings
Take regular mini breaks
Review whether a video meeting is required-would a phone call or an email be an alternative?
Review whether everyone needs to be at the video meeting
Reduce visual stimuli by using audio only from time to time on a video calling platforms
Look away from the screen from time to time into the distance to rest your eyes
Avoid multi-tasking try not to look at email and other screens at the same time as a meeting
Training whilst working from home
Although staff working from home, will be expected to fulfil duties to the best of their ability. Staff are also encouraged to complete the mandatory Equality and Diversity and GDPR (Data protection legislation that came into place on 25th May 2018) E-Learning modules. If you haven’t already completed both modules, now is the perfect time. If you have already completed both modules, you can still log on and retake the modules as a refresher.
There are also other training resources available including Mental Health modules, resources for making a direct application to the Academic resources, a Modern Slavery E-module and links to other free training resources available in many different areas.
The Training Resources can be found on ‘My Hope’, and in the Staff Gateway under Training Resources.
If you have any questions or require any support, please contact Shauna Anton on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feeling isolated or anxious about work?
If you aren’t able to contact your line manager, please contact your HR Manager by email
Hints and tips for working at home
WORKING ON CAMPUS
Many colleagues have continued to work on campus since March in order to provide essential services. More colleagues have returned full or part-time to campus to provide teaching and support to our students as the academic year got underway in September.
RETURNING TO WORK ON CAMPUS
The Starting the new academic year contains FAQs and key links to NHS, Government and other sources of information.
The COVID-19 Supporting Documentation pages contain information about safety protocols and risk assessments for activities on campus.
The Return to Campus Protocol outlines the process for any member of staff returning to work on campus. Any return must be arranged via a senior line manager and using the Return to Campus Protocol.
Managers will work with individuals to check whether there are any concerns to be addressed (including medical, caring, mental health considerations). Once the checking process is complete and permission to return to campus has been given by a senior line manager, colleagues must ensure that they are aware of all relevant safety protocols and risk control measures in place on campus via the Return to Campus Checklist, which must be signed by the member of staff and the manager and forwarded to Personnel.
SUPPORT IN RETURNING TO WORK ON CAMPUS
Some colleagues will naturally have concerns about lockdown measures easing or increasing and returning to work on campus, and these will hopefully be addressed by the health & safety measures that have been put in place on Campus by the University.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on your mental health and anxiety levels, or exacerbated a pre-existing mental health condition, this may be causing you concern about returning to work on campus.
The University has a range of resources to help and support you on these pages, and we welcome dialogue with you to enable your manager and/or HR Manager to work with you so that you can remain in/return to work/undertake your role/adapt to changes at work.
Occupational Health Service
The University uses an external Occupational Health Advice provider, Health Management. In some cases it may be helpful to seek occupational health advice on your health/mental health concerns in relation to COVID-19 and returning to work on campus.
Stress Profiling Tool
- The University has a Work-related Stress Management Policy.
- The Work Pressure Identification Proforma may help you work out where your work pressures are and structure your thoughts about concerns or anxiety about returning to campus
- You can use this as a basis for discussion and action planning with your manager
More information can be found here
Access to Work Mental Health Support Service
- Confidential and non-clinical service delivered by Remploy, and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
- Self-referral or employer referral
- Support provided by a trained Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant allocated to you for up to 9 months
- A customised support plan
- Regular meetings to provide support, advice and guidance specifically in relation to work
- Guidance on coping strategies
- Access to self-help resources
- Workplace adjustments (with you and your employer).
More information can be found here
A service commissioned by the local NHS services. The support programmes are designed to help you to improve and maintain your well-being by addressing any underlying issues that can negatively impact how you would like to live your life.
Silvercloud is now available for free by entering the code 'CMHCP' on signing up for a course. Online courses are available on topics such as stress, resilience, sleep, and COVID-19.
You can sign up here.
Mental Health & Resilience
E-learning module run through the same training provider as our GDPR and E&D Training, and joining instructions can be found in the E-Learning modules training manual (link to attached document).