HR advice to support your wellbeing

This page is currently being reviewed and will be updated in due course

More than anything this is a time to be kind to ourselves and others.

As we are moving into a phase where we are learning to live with the virus, many of us are adjusting to another new routine and working pattern. Concern for the wellbeing of our loved ones and ourselves may not have gone away or. you may be feeling anxious about returning to campus. It’s ok to not feel ok and to need support during this time of uncertainty and change.

We have put this Brookes community wellbeing page together to help support you and to guide you to other useful resources. You can find general guidance on Covid-19 on the Public Health England website and also see resources for wellbeing under in the People Directorate Wellbeing webpage.

Employee Assistance Programme

Colleagues can access the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), provided by our partner Health Assured, for further support and to complement the University’s existing support provision including Occupational Health.

This service is funded by the University, but provided by an independent provider - Health Assured - who are available 24/7, 365 days a year and can discuss issues related to health or financial concerns, loneliness, difficulties with working from home, or worries about returning to the workplace.

Managers will also be able to refer staff to Health Assured via a management referral with the permission of the individual. Short-term solution-based counselling is also available.

Health Assured is recognised by many equality and diversity organisations including Stonewall and Mental Health at Work, is Disability Confident and a Mindful Employer. It has specific resources available to support BAME colleagues, including addressing microaggressions in the workplace and supporting BAME mental health.

Mental health

The current situation is tough for everybody and it is important that we all do what we can to promote good mental health.  

We have selected a few resources for further help and support. 

If you feel unable to cope please contact Occupational Health, the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), your GP or other health professional as appropriate.

Brookes resources

The Occupational Health team will continue to provide support for staff including counselling services, and staff are encouraged to self-refer or should be asked to be referred by their line manager, particularly for more long-standing conditions and if staff are feeling unwell e.g. with anxiety or depression or other diagnosed mental health conditions. This applies especially if the employee's health condition is beginning to have an impact on how they function at work or impacts on their ability to be at work.

Other resources include:

Managing your wellbeing during the Coronavirus Outbreak 

Brookes Staff Connect - 1:1 Connect - connect with a Brookes colleague for a friendly, informal chat

Relaxation exercises from Brookes Counselling

Supporting effective change communications for academic line managers 

Managing Stress at Work (Occupational Health)

Mental Health Guide for Covid-19 (Brookes Union)

Managers' Guidance During Coronavirus

Mental health websites

Mood Boosters - How to feel better through stormy times (Liggy Webb)

Derek Mowbray's Tips for Strengthening the Resilience of Remote Workers

Action for Happiness

Mind: Coronavirus supporting yourself and your team

My Whole Self

ORCHA: An independent company that assesses a whole range of health apps for their efficacy. They have created a list of apps that might be useful for anyone (including students) whilst going through the Covid-19 crisis.

University of Oxford: Information for staff with mental health conditions and those in the neurodivergent community. 

Looking after your mental health while self-isolating (Young Minds)

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Helpline

Mental health resources for teachers, lecturers and support staff dealing with the Covid-19 crisis (Education Support)

Apps and Podcasts

All in the Mind (BBC)

Gretchen Rubin - author and podcaster on happiness

Feeling Good with Dr David Burns - author of Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy

Movement / exercise

We all know exercise is good for us and even if you are not a regular exerciser, know that even small amounts can make a difference and importantly help us to de-stress. Everyone has different abilities, but we can all do something.

Use a regular habit to trigger some exercise, eg do 10 sit ups when you switch on the kettle or dance to your favourite track.

Please consult your GP if you have any concerns regarding your fitness to exercise.

Brookes Sport

Free-to-play staff sports - at the Headington Centre for Sport

How to stay healthy during the crisis

Brookes Perform - on-demand YouTube workout videos

Staying in touch

Brookes resources

Brookes Staff Connect is a way for you to either one-to-one through ‘1:1 Connect’ (formerly Brookes Buddies) or by joining or setting up a Google Chat room where you can connect with colleagues from across the University.

The Staff Diversity Networks - BAME Staff Network, LGBTQ+ Staff Forum and Staff Disability Network - are keeping in touch with members and running some online activities. Contact for more information.

Staff Communications Hub

Staff Twitter

Staff Update fortnightly emails

Staff are reminded to check their Brookes email for further regular updates.

Oxford Brookes Multifaith Chaplaincy

Available to staff and students of all faiths and those of none.

Guided Online Meditation - Tuesdays 12 noon

Crafternoon Tea Online - Wednesdays 1.00pm - 3.00pm

See all Multifaith Chaplaincy events


It is important to maintain a healthy diet at this time to promote good health and support your immune system. See the key immune-supporting nutrients.

It can be too easy to snack on ‘junk food’ when you are at home and especially if we are feeling stressed and anxious. Find some healthy snack ideas but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t resist temptation.

Also see:


Mindfulness can help us increase awareness and subsequently make more skilful choices in our everyday lives. When we are more present, we are often more aware and less reactive and can make decisions from a stronger, clearer place. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, enhances focus, increases self-awareness and awareness of others, enables you to communicate more clearly and feel more relaxed and at ease.

Other resources

Art and culture websites

Many sites are offering free performances and tours.

National Theatre at Home

Royal Opera House / Royal Ballet

Cirque du Soleil

The National Gallery

BBC Culture in Quarantine

Explore the online collection at the British Museum

Homeschooling support

Parents' Toolkit - BBC Bitesize article

How to juggle your responsibilities as a parent at home - BBC Bitesize article

Support from People Directorate

Our People Directorate team is here to support you on a confidential case-by-case basis and can provide specific advice and guidance. Please contact your relevant People Directorate strategic partnering team via email and they will get back to you asap.

Support is also available from: