Mental Health Support
This section of the Harwell Hub has been created to help both employers and employees address mental health issues. Our aim is to offer Harwell employees, and their families, signposting support with any mental health challenges they might be facing, including problems that are not work related.
In these pages you will find resources that outline the symptoms of common mental health conditions, tips on how to manage your own mental health and advice on where to find support. There is also guidance on supporting a loved one or a colleague who might be struggling with a mental health condition.
We have included links to highly regarded and reputable third-party experts and you’ll find content from leading organisations such as Mind, Public Health England, Mental Health First Aid England and the Institute of Directors*, and also external experts.
These are unprecedented times. The recent challenges posed by the pandemic have for many people, exacerbated existing mental health conditions and in individuals who had never previously suffered with mental ill health, triggered anxiety related conditions. There has never been a more vital time to support your employees.
The links below identify resources focused on helping staff, and senior management, to navigate the ongoing economic and social challenges that COVID-19 poses to mental health. However, mental health problems existed prior to the pandemic and will continue to when the current crisis is past. To assist, we have also highlighted comprehensive initiatives focused on improving mental health in the workplace in the longer term.
Developing a culture that respects and nurtures the mental wellbeing of your employees can enhance your organisation’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and increase employee engagement. Research from Deloitte identified that ‘Poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. But for every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions, they get back £5 in reduced absence, presenteeism, and staff turnover’*.
Mental Health at Work
A portal of mental health resources searchable by sector and need.
Mental Health First Aid
Information on how to implement Mental Health First Aid in your organisation and a useful ‘Line Managers’ Resource’ information booklet which outlines how to support and manage an employee who is suffering from a mental health condition.
Institute of Directors
A COVID-19 focused fact sheet in association with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, giving tips on managing employee’s mental wellbeing whilst working from home.
* Deloitte, 2020
Here a few ideas that campus organisations have already adopted to help employees.
- Meeting free days or weeks where people are encouraged not to organise meetings unless deemed essential. These are often timed to coincide with peak leave periods such as school holidays, when people are thin on the ground anyway.
- Monthly rather than annual appraisal systems so individuals have 1:1’s with their line manager to assess workload and any issues arising, so that any problems can be dealt with quickly.
- Providing a ‘quiet room’ inside the workplace where individuals can take a break or talk to other people, away from their desk.
- Enabling employees to work from home on certain days or work more flexible hours to provide a better work/life balance and help organisations manage COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
- Reward and recognition schemes which highlight specific achievements by individuals or teams.
Life often throws challenges in our path. Currently we are collectively enduring a global pandemic that has rocked the mental wellbeing of many. Bereavement, workplace stress, divorce, loneliness, financial issues and other trauma also continue to affect us, and sometimes life feels difficult for no clear reason.
On this page you’ll find links to resources that can help you to develop a better understanding of mental health issues and some basic tips on how to make a positive change. These resources are also ideal to share with a loved one or colleagues, or simply to pick up some helpful tips.
Asking for help is difficult but it’s an important step towards recovery. You might be surprised how much talking and sharing your burden can help. Please don’t struggle alone.
Every Mind Matters
Advice from the NHS and Public Health England on looking after mental health, your own or that of a loved one.
Information on types of mental health problems, drugs and treatments, helping others, guides to support and services and tips for everyday living.
Your Mental Health
Podcasts, videos and real-life stories about common mental health problems and how to look after your mental wellbeing.
Self help resources and advice for children, adolescents and parents. You’ll find a range of guides on a wide range of topics from exam stress to suicidal thoughts and information about common mental health conditions and feelings.
Mental health advice and guides for older people including a free phone line.
Support at Harwell
If you would like to volunteer as a ‘Wellbeing Champion’ for your organisation, please contact fiona.smart@harwellcampus.
Taking the first step to reach out for help when you’re struggling is challenging. In the autumn Harwell will be launching a Wellbeing initiative comprising a number of activities including free yoga and fitness classes, an Adult Mental Health First Aid Course, and ‘Wellbeing Champions’ on campus, inside every participating organisation which will form a wider network of co-support and opportunities to share best practice around this important topic.
We appreciate that at times additional support may be required so if you’re struggling to cope here are some places where you can seek help and support.
Life at risk
- If your life is currently at risk please call 999, or head to A&E (if you can).
- If you’re feeling suicidal you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.
Touch base with your GP
If your feelings have recently changed and you think you might be suffering from a mental health condition, speaking to your GP can be a useful starting point. Your GP can signpost you to local mental health services.
Talk to an expert
If you have a mental health condition and need support finding a counsellor to speak to can help. Counselling is a talking therapy and available one-to-one or in groups. A counsellor will support you to make positive changes and offer you a confidential space where you can share difficult thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
The Samaritans offer 24hour support through the helpline or you can also make contact via email, text or letter. The Samaritans are experts at helping if you’re feeling suicidal.
A comprehensive nationwide directory of counsellors. The website explains what counselling is and the different types of counselling that are available.
Oxford Therapy and Self Development Network
OTS provides appropriate, effective, and affordable counselling and therapy options in Oxfordshire. An expert matches you to the therapeutic approach, format and options that are best for you.
* Harwell Campus has taken every care to link to reputable third party organisations and bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of these external sites or for that of subsequent links.