This section contains resources for staff to help manage their mental wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak, including online support, financial hardship schemes and official advice.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, many of us will be deeply anxious about our health, both physical and mental, and that of our loved ones. Ensuring our wellbeing during this time of prolonged isolation and strain is paramount. The University is doing, and will continue to do, all it can to support members of the University collegiate community during this time. The resources below offer advice and support.
Adults who live in Cambridge are now eligible to join Qwell – an online wellbeing platform launched by MIND. Qwell provides free and confidential chat-based counselling from qualified and BACP-registered counsellors, between 12noon and 10pm on weekdays and between 6pm and 10pm on weekends.
Alongside counselling services which can be accessed via instant chat or messaging, Qwell also provides online community forums and self-help materials for exploring emotions, mental health and wellbeing. This government-funded online service is not intended to be a replacement for face-to-face counselling, but it does provide an alternative for those unable to access face-to-face counselling services.
How to join
- To register for the service:
- Visit MIND
- Select ‘JOIN QWELL’
- Fill in the online registration form using your University email address
- Select 'Cambridgeshire and Peterborough MIND' as the place you live
All members of University staff can now access free online support with Big White Wall. This provides access to online mental-health wellbeing resources that may be helpful. Trained professionals monitor traffic on the site.
On Big White Wall, you are totally anonymous to other users, and your personal information is kept secure while you are on the site. The University will not be informed if you’ve signed up to Big White Wall, nor will it be advised of your activity on the service unless they are seriously concerned about your safety. If you are in crisis please follow this link: https://www.cpslmind.org.uk/need-help-now/
How to join
To register for the service:
- Visit www.bigwhitewall.com:
- Sign up under ‘organisation’ with your staff e-mail address.
- The University Staff Counselling Service ― useful resources and details of alternative services are also available on its website. The Staff Counselling Centre is offering emergency support sessions to frontline staff at Addenbrooke's who have a University contract of employment. A dedicated referral system is now live on the Centre’s website.
- The University’s Occupational Health Service website ― for general advice on health and wellbeing at work
- COVID inclusion resources
- For links to all support services within the University see internal sources of support.
Homeworking over a sustained period of time can lead to feelings of isolation. Staff and manager quick reference guides are available at the links below, with a particular focus on fostering relationships and wellbeing remotely.
- Working Remotely as an Individual
- Managing Remote Teams
- Choosing the best online communications tool
For those staff with children, the Government has announced a number of national packages to promote online learning as well as child and parent wellbeing.
- How to support children’s wellbeing and learning at home
- Oak National Academy ―A new government-funded organisation, chaired by Cambridge graduate Ian Bauckham CBE, which offers 180 video lessons each week covering every year group from Reception through to Year 10.
- Online Educational Resources
- BBC Bitesize
The University and Cambridge University Press have also published resources and activities:
The University is committed to putting measures in place to ensure that no employee is financially disadvantaged.
If you find yourself in financial difficulty as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak, the following support may be available to you:
- The Employee Welfare Loan Scheme — available to support eligible staff facing short-term financial difficulties
- The new Staff Hardship Grant Scheme — available to eligible staff who find themselves in hardship arising from the coronavirus but who are not eligible for the Employee Welfare Loan Scheme