Health and wellbeing

Looking after yourself

It’s important to look after yourself and this includes your mental health and wellbeing. We encourage you to seek support when you need to, connect with other people and look after yourself; physically, mentally and emotionally.

Support for your wellbeing

It’s OK to not feel OK. Anyone can at some point experience feelings of stress, anxiety or loneliness. It’s quite normal and it’s okay to ask for support at these times. 


Wellbeing teams at Oxford Brookes

Our Wellbeing teams offer support with your learning, emotional, physical and spiritual needs while at University.

The University Wellbeing teams (including Counselling, Student Welfare, Multifaith Chaplaincy, Disabled Students) are here to help you - both online and face-to-face. 

Togetherall

TogetherAll is a digital support service to complement the support offered by the University’s Wellbeing teams. You can use TogetherAll to help you deal with everything from everyday stresses to major life events.

On TogetherAll you can join chat groups, get 1:1 support, express your feelings creatively and take courses on topics such as time management, assertiveness and problem-solving.

Togetherall does not provide an official diagnosis or medical services. It should be used as a support tool, to talk, support, share and learn strategies to cope.

Sunflower lanyards

The sunflower lanyard signals to all Oxford Brookes students and staff that you have a hidden medical condition or disability which means you are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Whilst wearing a sunflower lanyard you will not be asked to wear a face covering on campus. These lanyards are free of charge for Brookes students and staff. You can order a lanyard via the online shop.

Meet new people and stay connected

Making new friends is a big part of attending university. There are many ways to connect with others, despite remaining limitations on some events. 


Student Connect

Student Connect can help you make contact with another student who shares one of your interests.

Find out more about Student Connect and how to join in this Student News article.

Brookes Union societies 

Joining a society can be a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends.

Have a look at the current societies, or you could even start your own. 

Keep active

Staying active is a great way to boost your wellbeing; both physically and mentally. It doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking are a great way to exercise and can have the added benefit of encouraging social interactions (don’t forget to social distance!).

Brookes Sport

Brookes Sports centres are open. Visit its webpage for more information.

Give back

Research shows that those who help others are more likely to describe themselves as happy. Feeling part of a community, and working towards something bigger than your own goals, is an important way of building wellbeing.

Volunteering

For some people volunteering can be a direct route into their ideal career, for others it helps develop new or existing skills. Either way, it will add valuable experience to your CV and it’s a great way to meet new friends and feel a valued member of your local community.

The Oxford Brookes Volunteer Centre has details of organisations who are looking for help with projects here and abroad that you can do in person or virtually. 

Stay informed

Read about the latest updates, support and activities from across the University.


Student News 

Keep an eye out for Student News, the email newsletter from the University with the latest information, support and activities.

You can also catch up on the latest news and activities on the Student News webpages.

Also keep an eye out for emails from Brookes Communications, which contain important information about your studies and life at university. 

BXtra

BXtra is an online platform created by students for students. It includes information on all that the University has to offer while you’re here, and showcases of students’ achievements.

Alongside content on the extra-curricula things you can get involved with, BXtra also features study-related content, and content on study skills and wellbeing, providing student-created support and resources. 

External resources

Sunflower lanyard scheme - support for students and staff with a hidden disability

For many students and staff the experience of the pandemic has created increased risks and some people may have new or worsening health conditions. We recognise that many disabilities and health conditions are not visible.

We know that many of our disabled students and staff have understandable and real concerns for their own safety and protection and therefore as a whole community we need to be highly conscious and responsible in how we protect ourselves and each other. It is still important to remember that Covid-19 is highly transmissible and we need to take extra care. We need to create space for each other, maintain good ventilation, as well as wearing face coverings (where possible) to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission to others.

The University signed up to the nationwide Sunflower Lanyard scheme with Hidden Disabilities in 2020. A sunflower lanyard can be used by those who have a hidden disability so university staff and students can identify those who may require extra help, understanding or patience, and in some cases exemption from face coverings.

We ask all students and staff to be mindful and respectful. Regardless of whether or not you wear a sunflower lanyard, it’s not ok to experience any kind of bullying or harassment. If you experience or witness any such behaviours, you can report it online at Report and Support.

What are the exemptions to wearing face coverings?

This is the Government guidance on exemptions and the University also has its own face coverings policy. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others ‒ including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity.
  • police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public.