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External support and guidance

Student and staff wellbeing

Wellbeing

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created 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. The health and wellbeing of everyone in our community will always be our top priority. 

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), or Living Support and The Compass (Cornwall students and PGRs), or Occupational Health (all staff and PGRs)

 

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 pandemic. Here are some resources that could help: 

Self-care resources:

Upcoming bookable support webinars: 

  • Online Mindfulness meditation sessions – Every Tuesday, 11:30am

    Sarah Lane, a qualified Mindfulness Teacher who usually facilitates the Mindfulness Courses at the Wellbeing Centre, offers 30-45 minute live guided sessions every Tuesdays at 11:30. These sessions will consist of a short introduction and a 20-30 minute mindfulness meditation. Bookable through the Career Zone.
  • Mind Over NatterRegular Wednesday lunchtimes, 12.45pm - 13.30pm (Term-time)

 Mind Over Natter talks are short (and currently virtual) wellbeing sessions designed to provide you with tips and advice to help you improve your own wellbeing. Keep an eye out on upcoming talks and speakers as they announced

- Re-watch Kathy O'Connor's talk on Why it's Ok not to be Ok 

Pre-recorded webinars and videos:

Wellbeing Workbooks: 

Our internationally recognised clinical and psychological therapies colleagues from CEDAR have developed workbooks to support wellbeing, these include guidance on wellbeing approaches to help you manage challenges arising from COVID-19.

Wellbeing apps:

Students can now also access Togetherall, an award-winning online support service which offers help and companionship 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Whether you want to speak to other members from around the world or a trained professional, there will be someone online every minute of every day. Sign up with your academic email address to get support, take control and feel better.

Our students can also access Fika, a Mental Fitness platform designed to help you improve your Seven Skills of Mental Fitness. Search for 'Fika' and download from the App Store or Google Play Store; you can register using your University email address.

UniWellBeing - If you’re based in Cornwall our UniWellBeing app is available with a range of healthy challenges, wellbeing tips, podcasts and more.

There is a wealth of free to download wellbeing apps which you can use to look after your mental health including Calm, Worrytime and Headspace.

Managing the after effects of COVID-19 (staff resource)

Increasing medical evidence and people's testimony is showing that a small but significant minority of people who contract Covid-19 experience symptoms for some time afterwards. This should get better over time and there are actions and support services that you can use to help. Take a look at the new ‘After Effects of Covid-19’ brochure from our Occupational Health team to find out more.

Further resources:

 

Campus facilities

 Exeter

The Gym at the sports park is now open.

On-site fitness classes at the Sports Park are availabe 

The Outdoor Pool (Streatham Campus) is open

St Luke's Sports Centre will remain closed for now whilst we work through the latest guidelines

From Monday 19 July, all current systems and restrictions will remain in place but we will work towards relaxing these as soon as possible. Our booking systems will be adjusted to take into account additional places that can immediately be made available in sessions and we will confirm further changes in due course. 

Please keep an eye on this page and also the Questions / Answers / Update page.

Penryn

Penryn campus gym has now re-opened. 90-minutes sessions are bookable online with a capacity of 20 individuals at a time.  

Showers are available and can be booked in advance by contacting sportscentre@fxplus.ac.uk or 01326 370770.

Outdoor classes, (HIIT, BootCamp, etc), will take place on the Multi Use Games Area, (MUGA), and can be booked online. Classes will be 45 / 60-minutes long, with a capacity of 11 individuals. The ‘Studio Class Timetable’ is due to resume on Monday 17 May.

The Sports Hall is currently unavailable, as it continues to be used for Covid testing for students and staff. All memberships have been automatically extended, for the duration that the Sports Centre has remained closed. 

 Other ways to be active: 

  • The University of Exeter Sports Park has daily online exercise classes that you can join for free, including Hiit, pilates, Body Balance, boot camp, yoga, Zumba and more
     
  • Staff Life has a range of activities for staff to take part in remotely, including yoga, pilates and tai chi 
  • Join the community of the University of Exeter Sport on Strava

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

* 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.

 Study Zone 

Study Zone offers 1:1 appointments in which you can ask for help with a range of study skills including academic writing, reading and note making, referencing, proofreading, revision and exam strategies. You can also request help with how to manage your time to make online learning work for you. Study Zone also offers Writing Cafés where an Adviser can offer advice as you work, and a range of online study skills resources.
 
Looking for more tips on boosting your productivty? Check out University of Exeter student, Ruby Granger's video - How am I so productive? 

Studiosity 

All students have access Studiosity, a 24/7 academic support platform which provides rapid feedback on academic writing, focusing on style, grammar and structure, as well as a live-chat study support function. Each student has 10 uses of Studiosity allocated for the 2020-21 academic year which you can access via links from your ELE module pages.

ELE Expresso!

We've launched a new student made video guide to ELE to help you find your way around our electronic learning platform. Check it out now and brush up on your ELE know how in the time it takes to drink an Espresso! 

Exams 

You can find Exams and assessments information on Study Zone’s websiteThis includes technical guidance, 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, these are being updated regularly so please check back.‌ 

Here are our 6 top tips for reducing exam and revision stress.

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

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.   

Students 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:

  • LinkedIn 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 LinkedIn 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 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 or study patterns and support can be agreed. The Students' Guild (Devon) and Students' Union (Cornwall) can also offer advice or connect you with other students who have caring responsibilities. 

 We understand how unsettling the current situation can be for everyone, and especially those colleagues with caring responsibilities. Please keep in touch with your manager if you have any queries or concerns, and also see our webpage with information on exceptional arrangements for staff to take paid emergency leave.

 The following resources may also be helpful: 

 

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: 

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.

Togetherall

Students can now access Togetherall, an award-winning online support service which offers help and companionship 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Whether you want to speak to other members from around the world or a trained professional, there will be someone online every minute of every day. Sign up with your academic email address to get support, take control and feel better.

The Positive Wellbeing Support group 

University of Exeter students are running a weekly Positive Wellbeing peer support group over Zoom. ‘The group aims to promote recovery, social inclusion and personal growth. The hope is to support people experiencing or with experience of low mood, to build broader networks of social support, adopt self-care strategies and to realise that they are not suffering alone.’

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 suicides 

The University's It's Safe to Talk About Suicide leaflet has advice about what to do if you are worried about someone, as well as tips on how to talk about suicide and links to support organisations.

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’, because you think you may be in danger, respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. When asked to do so, 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.

Students

The University will be offering an online programme of activities for all students who are self-isolating.

Students’ Guild - for students usually in Exeter

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 have created online activities and you can find out more online. Or, get involved in the Guilds' Get Connected pen pal scheme, or browse their upcoming events including a virtual pub quiz and live lockdown DJ set! Find out more information about the Get Connected campaign.

The Student's Guild have also shared some ideas on what you and your society could do during isolation and how you could still hold an activity virtually, view the top suggestions.

Students’ Union - for students usually in Cornwall

The Students’ Union are running the #TogetherWherever campaign on their website and social media channels to consolidate and signpost to all the wellbeing and self-help support available. 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 specific coronavirus information within the FAQs.

Everyone can join us on the connected Facebook group, to meet with other students who are self-isolating across our campuses.

If you are currently living in your usual Cornwall university accommodation, during lockdown you can also access the ‘ResLife Social’ programme. We know some of you may be feeling more isolated than usual as not everyone has returned to their accommodation. This involves one of our ResLife team getting in touch with you during the lockdown period to catch up socially, make sure you are doing okay and aware of the support available. The ResLife team is a friendly group of fellow students with a good understanding and knowledge of student life.  They will also be able to tell you about upcoming online events that you can participate in and how to sign up. The events are fun, led by the ResLife team and a great way to get involved with other students during this time. Previous online events include, Pictionary, Bingo, Film Festivals and an upcoming virtual online, Locked In! Chatting to other students is a great way to support one another so if you are interested in this service, please complete the opt-in form here

Staff

Take a look at our Self Isolation Brochure for advice and guidance for employees and managers.

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

• Check out the University’s Arts and Culture website – we have heaps of artist talks, interviews, blogs, online galleries and even a Covid-19 arts commissioning programme, Hyperlocal

• Take a look at the University's events calendar to see which events are now taking place virtually

• Have an event or activity taking place online? Get in touch with studentcomms@exeter.ac.uk or send your pictures to socialmedia@exeter.ac.uk.

 

  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 student societies have created online activities and you can find out more here. Or, get involved in the Guilds' Get Connected pen pal scheme. Find out more information about the Get Connected campaign here. 

Students’ Union 

The Students’ Union are running the #TogetherWherever campaign on their website and social media channels to consoldate and signpost to all the wellbeing and self-help support available. You can 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 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 challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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! 

Our stories

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.

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.

Reach Out

The University of Exeter has set up a team of University staff to reach out to our students during the coronavirus pandemic. Staff will call students to check if they are ok, have a chat, and ensure they know how to access any support they might need. We will normally call students once, and then make arrangements to call again if the student would like us to.

The aims of the service are;

  • To provide a social interaction from the University to its students when students are feeling isolated and facing challenges due to COVID-19
  • Providing a friendly, supportive opportunity for students to talk about their worries, concerns or just to chat
  • Provide advice, support and tips to maintain mental wellbeing based on the 5 steps to Mental Wellbeing
  • Ensure students know what support is available, and how to access that support

You may receive a call from one of the team!

For more information contact Kitty Mann by email: k.mann@exeter.ac.uk