Case studies of HEIs' approaches to staff mental wellbeing

 University of Aberdeen
This case study shares a range of good practice initiatives adopted with the aim of supporting staff mental health.  Initiatives include: The establishment of mental health and wellbeing working groups; a rich and regularly replenished bank of mental health and wellbeing resources; an offering of wellbeing activities; the development of a Wellbeing Strategy; and Facilitating a network of mental health first aiders and champions. 

 University of Edinburgh
This case study details the creation of a staff wellbeing hub, as well as a mental health and wellbeing toolkit. It describes how the HEI set out its commitments to mental health and wellbeing, and its investment in mental health awareness learning for all staff. It also describes its approach to wellbeing events and campaigns. 

 University of Gloucestershire
The case study is divided into three main sections: Mental Wellbeing Policy; Embedding a supportive wellbeing culture; and Maintaining high standards into the future.  From operating a Health and Wellbeing Steering Group to providing staff with access to on-line pilates and yoga, the study shares a wide variety of good practice initiatives. 

 Leeds Beckett University
This case study discusses how the HEI’s appraisals were redesigned to include a greater emphasis on wellbeing.  The aim has been to move away from form-filling to person-centred conversations and to embrace the introduction of Wellbeing Action Plans.  The study focuses on supporting line managers with the new approach and collecting feedback.    

 University of Leicester
In this case study, we learn about the background to the University’s decision to build a Staff Health and Wellbeing Strategy.  The study shares how the remit of the HEI’s Occupational Health team was expanded to incorporate proactive health promotion and prevention.  The case study goes on to cover a range of areas including (but not limited to) managing staff anxiety relating the Covid-19 pandemic.  

 Liverpool John Moores University
This case study opens with an introduction to the HEI’s strategic plan.  The study shares the HEI’s three-pronged approach to supporting staff wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.  This involved supporting staff with pre-existing conditions, supporting staff with emerging conditions and putting preventative measures in place.  Finally, there is a section on building a 3-Stage Mental Health Development Plan.     

 University of Northampton
From the outset, this case study acknowledges that “what we put in place should benefit staff and students”. Having received the first Inside Out award for MHFA, the HEI describes how they have enhanced their EAP offering through networking with mental health professionals and charities.  The HEI engages with the UUK’s Stepchange Self-Assessment and discusses their approach to evaluating current initiatives in the spirit of continued good practice.   

 University of Sheffield
In this case study, we learn about the HEI’s whole university approach to staff and student mental health.  This holistic approach has involved developing a joint staff and student wellbeing strategy aligned with the key principles of the Student Minds Mental Health Charter Framework.  The case study shares insights from the HEI’s participation in MIND’s two-year Healthy Universities pilot programme.  

 Staffordshire University  
There are three sections in this case study covering the HEI’s new wellbeing strategy, their wellbeing action plan and other wellbeing initiatives.  The case study captures how the University placed wellbeing at the heart of their strategy when adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The HEI came to embed a culture of ‘leadership at every level’ and ‘supporting each other’; and has introduced a wide variety of wellbeing initiatives pursuant to their strategy.

 University of Stirling
From targeted self-awareness campaigns to mental health training and rest/wellbeing days, this case study sets out the range of wellbeing initiatives adopted by the University.  Central to all of the initiatives is the HEI’s strategic commitment to “foster and nurture a culture and environment that respects, protects, promotes, and enhances the mental health and wellbeing of our students and staff, enabling them to thrive and achieve their potential whilst achieving our institutional ambitions”.

This unique case study focuses on the progress of a small and rapidly upscaling HEI which will welcome its first cohort of undergraduates in September 2021.  Wellbeing has been recognised as a key element of this HEI’s people strategy.  Instead of adopting traditional appraisals, the HEI promotes regular one-to-ones where the format includes wellbeing checks right at the start of any discussion.  

 University of Central Lancashire
This case study focuses on four main areas: Staff Counselling Service; Winter Wellbeing Programme; Return to campus and future provision; and Mental health strategy.  The case study explores a range of considerations and the planning behind various new wellbeing initiatives.  For example, the HEI’s existing in-house counselling provision was moved online during the pandemic following a brief reduction in take up.  

 University of the West of England
The HEI sets out the history behind their Mental Wealth First Strategy embedded in their Strategy 2030.  The rest of the case study is structured around exploring the initiatives borne out of the following three strategic themes:  Promotion; Prevention; and Provision.  There is a section in the study focusing on how the HEI responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic from a wellbeing perspective. 

 University of Wolverhampton
This case study details the HEI’s wellbeing offering which has been expanded during the pandemic and extended to all staff.  Over and above their core offering of OH and EAP schemes; the HEI has introduced a staff wellbeing hub, online workshops, opportunities for collaboration, a calendar of events and VC Q&A sessions.  The case study describes each of these areas in more detail.   

 University of Southampton
This case study captures the HEI's proactive approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing.  The HEI shares their experience in adopting a programme of health and wellbeing initiatives, providing e-learning support and driving forward change through their Staff Wellbeing Working Group.   The case study also shares how the HEI has conducted staff surveys and worked with their Wellbeing Champions to take forward the Staff Wellbeing Strategic Plan.   

 Cranfield University
This HEI describes how HR and the Student Experience Team worked in tandem to create a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, aligned across the whole university.  The case study describes how the onset of the pandemic acted as a catalyst for accelerating the implementation of various initiatives as part of the HEI’s mental health agenda.  The study includes a paragraph on initiatives undertaken by the HEI during Mental Health Awareness Week, with a focus on the theme of nature and the outdoors.  

 University of Sunderland
This case study focuses on a series of staff wellbeing initiatives which the HEI introduced pursuant to its University People Plan.  For example, there is a paragraph focusing on the HEI’s participation in the Better Health at Work Award.  The study shares the HEI’s journey in establishing Wellbeing Champions and setting up campaigns, as well as their commitment to providing dedicated wellbeing resources.

Page updated 10 September 2021