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Wellbeing help and resources over Christmas and the New Year

16 Dec 2021

Message from Adèle MacKinlay, Director of People and Organisational Development

Wellbeing support

The festive period is a time of celebration for many of us, when we look forward to an extended break and being with family and friends. This is particularly poignant in 2021 - we have all shown great resilience and flexibility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the emergence of the Omicron variant in recent weeks.

We know, however, that that this can be a challenging time of year for colleagues for many reasons. Maybe we are worried about how COVID-19 will affect our plans and preparations for the upcoming holiday, or we are spending the festive period alone or apart from loved ones.

As 2021 draws to a close we would like to highlight the many resources available to support your wellbeing in the coming weeks:

  • The Employee Assistance Programme is a free to call 24/7 helpline provided by an independent external provider, Validium. It offers access to support from trained counsellors and advisors who are ready to listen and provide help on everything from emotional and physical health, mental health, relationships, managing stress and anxiety, money issues and more. Validium also provide free counselling for our staff, as well as an online Wellbeing portal.
  • The Counselling and Mental Health Service offers a wide range of support including workshops, groups and a host of mental health resources. There’s still time to join the final workshops of the year taking place on Friday 17 December. The service has provided specific advice for if you are in crisis or know a colleague who may be feeling this way.
  • The Togetherall online community is an anonymous and totally confidential free online mental health and wellbeing resource, providing access to peer support, resources for self-management and advice and guided support programmes on a range of common issues. Togetherall is monitored 24/7 by clinical professionals and as a result nearly 90% use the service outside of 9-5pm.
  • We have put together a selection of resources to provide COVID-19 wellbeing support.
  • Our programme of wellbeing activities has continued throughout December and will recommence early in the New Year. Many of our wellbeing lectures have been recorded to rewatch if you were unable to attend.
  • Our wellbeing pages on Staffnet contain a wide range of information on how to improve your health, and details for managers to promote and support their colleagues’ wellbeing.

Finally, we give our sincere thanks to the many staff who will be working over the festive period, and wish you all a happy and healthy holiday.  

Adèle MacKinlay

Director of People and Organisational Development