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Staff and student wellbeing

We’ve created this web section to help you find the support and information you need to take care of your mental health and wellbeing - whether you are a student or a member of staff.

For further information and support, you can always contact Wellbeing Service (Exeter students and PGRs)Occupational Health (all staff and PGRs), or Living Support and The Compass (Cornwall students and PGRs).

The COVID-19 outbreak is an enormous change to all our lives, so it’s perfectly natural to go through a wide range of emotions and there is no right way to feel. Our health and wellbeing will always be our priority and we are here to support one another. 

Take a look at our Mental Health Support and Treatment web page for information on what is available for you as a student or staff member at the University. You can also contact the Wellbeing Service (students and PGRs) or Occupational Health (staff and PGRs) for confidential advice on choosing the right support for you. It might also help to complete the NHS mood self-assessment to help understand your feelings. 

NHS Every Mind Matters and Mind have advice, tools and support to help your wellbeing during COVID-19 and to manage common feelings including stress, anxiety and low mood/depression. Student Minds provides advice tailored to students.  

Taking care of ourselves can really help us to feel mentally and physically well. We have pulled together some tips and resources below. Choose what works for you, but don’t feel pressure to try all of these things at oncethe important thing is to do activities that help you to feel well with the time that you have. 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing

Evidence suggests that taking these five steps can help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life: 

  1. Connect with other people  

  1. Be physically active  

  1. Learn new skills  

  1. Give to others  

  1. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness) 

Take a look at our Five Ways to Wellbeing online brochure to find out more, including links to resources and activities.  

Sleep 

We all have nights when we find it hard to sleep. You may find this is happening more often during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some resources that could help: 

Physical activity

There are many ways to be active during social-distancing/ self-isolation: 

  • Do a regular online exercise class – try the free NHS online fitness studio, which has options for aerobic exercise, strength/resistance and yoga/Pilates.  

  • Run up and down your stairs and/or garden if you have one 

  • Go for a walk or run – if you are able to keep your distance from others 

  • Stretch regularly – give these NHS desk-based stretches a go 

  • Think about what kind of exercise you most enjoy and are most likely to engage with – you may prefer a solo run, or a group video workout.   

  • Join the University of Exeter Sport Facebook group for workout ideas  

* Please note: It is important that if you have an existing health condition or are on any prescribed medication that you seek professional/medical advice before starting any new form of exercise or fitness regime.  

Fika App: 

Fika is a mental fitness app that aims to help you to exercise your mind to increase resilience, in the same way as you do physical exercise.

The University is piloting the app for staff. The pilot will focus on COVID-19 and the transitions back into our ‘new normal’ working lives. Complete this short form to express interest to take part in the pilot. You can also visit our Fika web pages or email lauren@fika.community to find out more.

Further resources: 

Study Zone 

You can continue to book 1:1 appointments through the summer break, and Advisers can help with a range of study skills including academic writing, reading and note making, referencing, proofreading, revision and exam strategies. Study Zone also offers drop-in Writing Cafés where an Adviser can offer advice as you work, and a range of online study skills resources.

Exams 

You can read all of the latest communications from your University about examinations and assessments here. 

To support you, you can find all the Exams and assessments information that you’ll need on Study Zone’s websiteThis includes technical guidance for the exams themselves, as well as exams and revision guides, wellbeing information, and information for students who usually use a reader or scribe in exams. 

For students usually based in Cornwall, you can also access exam tips on the Study Hub web pages and these are being updated regularly so please check back.‌ 

We've put together our 6 top tips to reduce exam and revision stress below.

For further tips on managing exam nerves take a look at Student Minds guide to tackling exam stress and the Busting Exam Stress (Wellbeing workbook). It may also help to check out the I’ve Got to be Perfect! (Wellbeing workbook).

Library Services

Remember your library services are open! Don’t forget you can still access resources and support from your library online. Find resources to support your study via the library website.

You can ask a question using the live chat feature, which pops up on the web page. We’re also working with publishing partners to open up access to digital resources during the Coronavirus outbreak and you can find out more here.  

Students usually based in Cornwall 

If you’re usually based on our Cornwall campuses the ASK, EAP, Accessibility, and Inclusive Learning services are all available digitally, as are the usual resources in Study Hub. You can find them below: 

Researcher Development (PGR) 

Our Researcher Development team is still continuing their online training programme for Postgraduate Researcher Students (PGRs) and are also putting in place additional support. Our online training provision is here to help PGRs with writing, project management, communicating your research via different mediums and on building networks. A full list of the courses coming up can be found on our website. 

The resources below can help you to stay safe, healthy and productive when working from home. For further confidential guidance and support, email occupationalhealth@exeter.ac.uk. 

Working safely: 

Time management:

  • Linked In has a range of resources to support you to work remotely, including tips to be productive, manage the impact on wellbeing and lead teams. The Linked In course ‘Time Management and Working from Home’ includes tips for working parents and other caregivers who might be balancing professional and personal responsibilities in the home. 

  • Learn Smart has a hosof short videos, tips and articles to help with time management.

Researcher Development (PGR) 

Our Researcher Development team is still continuing their online training programme for Postgraduate Researcher Students (PGRs) and are also putting in place additional support. Our online training provision is here to help PGRs with writing, project management, communicating your research via different mediums and on building networks. A full list of the courses coming up can be found on ourwebsite. 

It is likely that some of us will be juggling work and study with caring responsibilities during the pandemic. We appreciate all the efforts that people are making to remain productive and appreciate the challenges that many may be experiencing.  

It can help to speak with your line manager (staff) or your personal tutor (students) so that changes to priorities, work patterns and support can be agreed. The following resources may also be helpful: 

Survey on the impact of school closures

Do you have school-aged children at home with you? If so, University researchers would be glad if you would fill out this survey, which is trying to give quick feedback to policymakers about the impact of the school closures. 

Peer support 

Lots of people find that getting support from peers or other people with similar challenges can improve their wellbeing and help them to cope with mental health problems. For example, it could: 

  • help you to open up about what you are feeling and experiencing 

  • introduce you to ideas and approaches that others have found helpful 

  • reassure you that you're not alone in how you are feeling 

  • help you to connect with others and give you a sense of belonging 

  • encourage you to value your strengths 

  • build your self-esteem and confidence 

  • help you to feel more hopeful about the future. 

There are lots of types of peer support, to find out more about what is available and how to find support for you, check out Mind’s peer support web pages. 

Connect with your peers at the University: 

  • The Keeping Healthy and Productive Yammer Group (staff) is a space for staff to share challenges, tips and resources for keeping well, engaged and happy. 

  • The Wellbeing Services Blog (studentsis a forum where students with disabilities can share their experiences of student life at the University of Exeter. We will also post blogs with guidance from practitioners on how to best utilise the support services at Exeter, and advice and tips on how to maintain your wellbeing as you study.  

Nightline 

  • Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run by students for students from 8pm– 8am during term time. 
    Skype: exeterstudentnightline 
    Email: info@exeternightline.ac.uk 
    Instant messaging service available all over the world is available on their website.

Chaplaincy

The Multifaith Chaplaincy team is available for online and telephone appointments by contacting chaplaincy@exeter.ac.uk or by calling Ramona, Multifaith Chaplaincy Coordinator, on 07557 064976, to arrange an online appointment. 

Further support for men in Cornwall

Mandown Cornwall, which is a men's mental health support group in the county, is running Facebook Live events every Monday evening at 7pm (BST). You can find out more about Mandown on their website.

If you know someone struggling with their mental health, there are lots of things you can do. Find out how you can help and support them on the NHS Every Mind Matters web pages, including if they are worried or anxious about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to help someone with depression 

Resources for managers   

Helping to prevent young suicides 

The Papyrus website aims to prevent young suicides. It provides confidential help and advice to anybody worried about a young personThere is further information about urgent support in the Need Help Now section of our web pages. 

Domestic abuse is the misuse of power and control by one person over another. This controlling behaviour may take place in various ways, for example through physical violence, emotional or psychological manipulation, forcing sexual acts or taking over your finances. It is never the fault of the person who is experiencing it. It can begin at any time, can be obvious or subtle and can happen suddenly or gradually. It can happen to anyone regardless of class, age, race, religion, culture, disability or sexual orientation.

For more information on domestic abuse, signs to look out for and actions you can take if you’re affected by abuse visit the Devon & Cornwall Police website.

Where to get help:

Need Help Now?

Do not be afraid to call 999 and ask for the police in an emergency.

Silent Solution: When you call 999, the operator (the person on the phone) will ask which emergency service is required. Listen to the questions from the 999 operator. If you cannot say ‘police’ or ‘ambulance’, respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. If prompted, press 55 on your phone. This lets the 999 call operator know it’s an emergency and that you aren’t safe to speak. Click here to find out more.

Additional Support

There are a wide range of organisations that can provide advice and support to people affected by domestic violence and you can find more information here.

Students

The University provides wellbeing services in Exeter and Cornwall.

The Students’ Guild (Exeter) has a list of places students can find support – from the Guild and the University as well as from external organisations.

The Students’ Union (Cornwall) has a range of resources that you can access to find the right help and support for you.

Staff

Find out about the support and resources for staff here.

Exeter Speaks Out

Our University is an inclusive community, where everyone has the right to feel safe and be treated with respect. If you've experienced or witnessed abuse at the University we encourage you to report it and to get the support you might need. These pages provide information for students and staff.

Need help to reach a refuge?

If you have a place at a refuge but need help to travel there, GWR runs a Rail to Refuge programme and you can find further details here.

At times during the pandemic, many of us will need to self-isolate or shieldHere are some tips and resources that you may find helpful:

Isolation doesn’t have to mean isolated. Here are some university activities that you can take part in virtually:  

  • Staff Life has a range of activities for staff to take part in remotely, including yoga, pilates, tai chi, singing, meditation, crafts and creative writing
Further resources for Cornwall residents:

Your Students’ Guild (for students usually Exeter-based) and Students’ Union for those usually in Cornwall are there to offer you support. 

Students’ Guild 

The Students’ Guild has lots of information available on its dedicated coronavirus pages, including advice and information about social distancing. You can also still contact the advice service online.

PGR student? Check out the specific information available for you here.  

Some of the student societies are creating online activities and you can find out more here. The Student's Guild have also listed some ideas on what you and your society could be doing during isolation and how you could still hold an activity virtually, view their top suggestions here

Students’ Union 

The Students’ Union is running a campaign across its social media channels under the hashtag #isolationnotisolated. You can still access the Students' Union Advice Service online from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, via email: advice@thesu.org.uk You can also find their specific coronavirus information which is full of lots of information and is available here. 

Remember too that the Student Support Services are still available online.  

External organisations

Every Mind Matters – NHS service providing free tips and advice to support your mental health 

Mind Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Samaritans provide a confidential listening and support service where you are able to talk through your troubles and concerns in a safe and non-judgmental space. You can:
Call: 116 123
Text: 07725  909 090
Email: jo@samaritans.org

Student Minds
Student Minds provides advice tailored to students, but which may be useful for everybody. They also provide links to external organisations that offer support, including for those with ongoing mental health difficulties or who have been the victim of xenophobia or racism. 

Papyrus provides confidential help and advice around mental health and suicide to young people and anyone worried about a young person. Their opening hours are 10am-10pm weekdays, 2pm-10pm weekends and 2pm-5pm on Bank Holidays. You can:
Call: 0800 068 41 41
Text: 07786 209 697
Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

We are proud of how the University of Exeter community has risen to the challenge of the past few weeks. We recognise that not everyone is in a position to volunteer within their community. However, we wanted to bring you some positivity at this challenging time by sharing some of the stories from across our University.

If you are helping others at the moment – however that might be, please let us know using the form below. We’d also like to hear about your own lockdown journey! 

Contribution to our Community

If you would like to share your contributions or volunteering work, please provide us with a short paragraph and, if possible, a photograph we could use on the webpages and our social media over the coming weeks. 

If you have funny, inspiring or thought-provoking lockdown stories to share, please email studentcomms@exeter.ac.uk

Our stories

Exeter students 

Our Wellbeing teams are still available to support you during these uncertain and challenging times. We can offer remote appointments via telephone or online, and will do whatever we can to help you through this unusual period. 

If you are a student usually based on our Exeter campuses, you can email wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk to request support or call Wellbeing Services on +44 (0) 1392 724381 and leave a voicemail.

You can reach our AccessAbility team at accessability@exeter.ac.uk or by leaving a voicemail at +44 (0) 1392 723880.

Cornwall students

If you are a student usually based on our Cornwall campuses you can contact Living Support as follows:

The Compass offers students help and advice on any aspect of university life, whether you have a quick query or require specialist support. If you’re not sure where to find the answer to your question, this is a good place to start:

Staff

The Occupational Healthteam can provide you with confidential support to manage work-related problems and provide support and guidance about finding the right wellbeing support for you. 

Your feedback 

The Student and Staff Experience and Wellbeing Core Business Group is working to support you during COVID-19 and beyond. We would welcome your thoughts on the issues that affect your wellbeing and any ideas you have on what we can do to help at provost@exeter.ac.uk. 

We’d love to hear from you - if you have suggestions for further content, please contact studentcomms@exeter.ac.uk.