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Wellbeing is defined as relating to a person’s state of welfare, health and happiness. There are numerous resources and services available to researchers across the university and beyond.
The University recognises that wellbeing is fundamental to a positive staff experience. The Staff Experience web pages on Wellbeing cover Work-life balance, Feel Good Festival, Brookes Active, Occupational Health and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.
Look out for the Feel Good Festival, held every February. This includes a series of lectures, workshops, sports, training and other wellbeing events for staff.
Appointments for staff, services & support
Oxford Brookes University recognises that excessive or prolonged pressure can have a negative impact on individuals and the organisation; and that this can be mitigated through appropriate action on the part of individuals and their managers. Occupational Health runs a course for line managers and supervisors on their role in promoting mental wellbeing and managing work-related stress.
Mindfulness can help us increase awareness and subsequently make more skilful choices in our everyday lives. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, enhances focus, increases self-awareness and awareness of others, enables clearer communication and encourages us to feel more relaxed and at ease. This Mindfulness course is run by a freelance mindfulness teacher and anxiety management therapist and organised through Occupational Health. It is open to all Oxford Brookes University staff.
Mental Health First Aid is the help given to someone experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained. This course run by Occupational Health teaches people to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems, provide initial help and guide a person towards appropriate professional help. It aims to provide a better understanding of mental health conditions; more confidence about mental health and what to do to help others; reduced stigma about mental health and better awareness of your own and other people’s mental health.
This Occupational Health web resource outlines the University policy for the prevention and management of stress in the workplace and resources for both staff and their line managers on managing workplace stress.
OCSLD offers two half day courses:
For line managers: “ Managing workplace stress” - on the responsibilities of line managers in preventing and managing stress in their teams;
For all staff: " Resilience” - on strategies for individuals to prevent and manage stressful feelings by increasing resilience.
All University staff can access the Brookes Coaching Pool to set and work towards achieving their work-related goals. Coaching is empowering others to find their own solutions. The coach's role is to facilitate thinking by providing challenge and support, to help the coachee unlock their own answers.
Mentoring is a developmental partnership between colleagues in which a Mentee (the scheme is open to all research staff from PGRA through to Reader) is guided by a more experienced Mentor (research-active academic), who uses their expertise, knowledge and personal experience to help the Mentee achieve their research-related goals.
The University has a number of Staff Networks and forums to connect and support staff, based on shared identity or experience. These networks can assist in personal and professional development, organise events and activities, act as a sounding board for policy development and review, and provide a consultative forum for the university to gather views and feedback.
Information for staff supporting students
Brookes Sport offers group exercise and wellness classes including: cycling, cardio combat, pilates, yoga and circuit training.
A recent report by the Art Fund reveals that 63% of us have visited a museum or gallery as a way to de-stress.Why not take a breather and make a visit to our on-site university art gallery? The Glass Tank hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. It’s completely free to visit and can be found on the ground floor of the Abercrombie building.
The research shows that people who say they regularly visit museums and galleries report a greater sense of satisfaction with their lives than those who never go. The Glass Tank changes exhibition every four to six weeks giving you a reason to re-visit regularly.
Vitae is a non-profit organisation, part of The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd with over 45 years' experience in enhancing the skills and careers of researchers. It is dedicated to supporting the professional development of researchers. OBU pays to be an organisational member of Vitae which unlocks additional content to OBU research students and staff. You can access this by registering on the Vitae web site using your institutional email address.
Wellbeing and mental health
Vitae/Taylor & Francis - 15 minutes to develop your research career podcasts:
Episode 4: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome (15:32)
Episode 6: The unspoken challenges of research life (15:11)
For Research Leaders and Supervisors
There are numerous external apps available for breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, etc. Here are just a few: