Mental health and wellbeing
It has been a very challenging few months for all of us in the Department. Over the past weeks and months, we’ve had to swiftly adjust to changes across all aspects of our lives. It’s important that we know where to access guidance and support for our mental health and wellbeing.
- Imperial has an excellent wellbeing hub Live Well - Work Well during Covid-19 which draws together new and existing resources to support all staff especially during the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Imperial's Support at Home calendar is a daily programme of classes, meet-ups, webinars, and one stop shop for useful resources beneficial to the whole Imperial community.
Some general advice and sources of support in EEE
- Staying connected with colleagues
- Getting out and about
- Support for mental health, anxiety and depression
- Balancing work and home life - support for families and carers
1. Stay Connected with colleagues
It is more important than ever to keep in touch with colleagues while we're not in our usual routines or work locations. Our colleagues and friends in the Department can provide a great network of support and advice on daily basis, and we encourage everyone to stay connected to help build a local support network and regular flow of communication.
- MS Teams and Zoom are a great way to catch up with colleagues and line managers, and for work meetings as well as socially. Some teams and research groups are hosting virtual coffee meetings and social events. If your group isn’t doing this, but you would like to arrange something, please do reach out to your line manager or your group head.
- Your line manager should be in regular communication with you. If you haven’t been in touch with them for a while, please do reach out to them for a catch-up. Within research groups, if you're unable to get a response from your line manager please speak directly to your Group Head who will be able to assist.
- As a Department we have set up our #EEECommunity hub to help us stay connected while we live, work and study away from campus.
2. Getting out and about
This has been more difficult for the past few months, but getting outside and staying active is not just good for our physical wellbeing, it can also greatly help with productivity and mental health.
It's easy to forget to take regular breaks away from work, and schedule a lunch break every day. Why not arrange a remote ‘walk in the park’ with a colleague or a friend? If the exercise in the diary, it is a good prompt to make sure that it gets done.
Move Imperial has a timetable of exercise and active classes aimed at getting us moving.
3. Depression, Anxiety and Mental Health support
It is not unusual to be experiencing mental health challenges as a result of the changes to our lives. We want to ensure that all our staff in the Department feel continuously supported whether working from home, leaving home to go to work or on temporary leave (furlough).
The College has lots of helpful contacts, information and resources for supporting Mental Health at Work.
If you are feeling depressed or anxious, first and foremost it is important to seek support through your local GP as they can offer the best medical advice.
It is also important to discuss this with your line manager as early as possible so that they can work with you in exploring the causes and what they might be able to do to help alleviate some of the pressures that you are facing.
Line Management or Self-referrals can also be made to occupational health, and they can provide both individuals and Departments with safeguarding and adjustments that can be made to help.
4. Balancing work and home life - support for parents and carers
Many of us in the Department will have been juggling multiple roles over the past couple of months, trying to keep up with our day jobs while also caring and supporting our relatives.
The Department recognises the daily challenges that this brings, and is fully supportive of staff who may need to work flexible hours to balance various demands.
If you're finding that multiple responsibilities are becoming difficult to manage, please do speak to your line managers, who can often find creative solutions to help distribute work and offer additional support.
Support from Imperial
The College Employee Engagement team in HR are in contact with My Family Care and Working Families to support those of you that are balancing children and/or caring responsibilities during this difficult time.
My Family Care - take some time to register with My Family Care if you haven’t already. If you are already registered, check that your profile is up-to-date so that you are fully registered and can reserve care easily and quickly when you need it via the Work+Family Space.
My Family Care also have the following online resources with tips and support to help you manage this unique work-life challenge including:
- Indoor activities for children
- Top tips on working from home
- Supporting the elderly in self-isolation
My Family Care have confirmed that all their webinars are recorded and can be accessed in the On Demand section via your Work+Family Space following the live session. You can visit their website to register for other upcoming webinars.
For Post-Doc Staff the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC) have also set up a PFDC Parents Network.
Parents Network and Carers Network. The Employee Engagement team will continue to update you about any new initiatives on the Parents Network and Carers Network Yammer pages. If you would like to be added to these groups and/or added to their mailing lists, please contact Emily Michael.