Spectrum Life is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is a confidential, neutral service provided by an external company to support colleagues at the University, including free counselling.
Anxiety and Depression
What is Anxiety?
"Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations." - Mind.
What is Depression?
"Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life. In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn't stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal." - Mind.
Support available for your mental health:
- Spectrum Life is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is a confidential, neutral service provided by an external company to support colleagues at the University. They provide free counselling support for your mental health, including anxiety and depression.
Daylight app from Big Health
- We are now offering free access to a digital programme to provide relief from anxiety called 'Daylight', based on cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, available as an iPhone or Android app. Find out more and sign up today.
- If you are experiencing anxiety or depression it can help to talk to your manager who can refer you to Occupational Health for support. Alternatively, you can make a self-referral direct to the Occupational Health Team.
- The Access to Work Mental Health Support - a confidential service delivered by Remploy funded by the Department of Works and Pensions is available at no charge to any employees with depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues affecting their work.
- It can be helpful to go through one of Mind’s ‘Wellness Action Plans’ (workplace, remote and hybrid) with your manager so you can both explore how they can support you more with your wellbeing.
- Get Your Mind Plan - Every Mind Matters - NHS
- An 'Anxiety self-help guide' has been created by DPT NHS.
- A 'Depression and low mood self-help guide' has been created by DPT NHS.
- NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)- an NHS support you can refer yourself directly to for talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, other therapies and guided self-help. Local IAPT services are listed below:
- NHS Talkworks (Devon)
- NHS Outlook South West (Cornwall)
- Steps2Wellbeing (Dorset)
- Plymouth Options (Plymouth)
- Somerset Partnership Talking Therapies (Somerset)
- VitaMinds (Bristol, N.Somerset, S.Gloucestershire)
- B&NES Talking Therapies (Bah & N.E. Somerset)
- If you live outside of these areas, you can find your local service using the NHS IAPT Search Tool.
- The charity Mind runs a wide range of peer support options that you can refine by location.
- Free mindfulness sessions available for colleagues
- Mindfulness is a simple and powerful practice of training our attention. It involves learning to pay attention to what is happening in the ‘here and now’ (i.e. sensations, thoughts, and emotions) in a non-judgemental way. It can be helpful because it can interrupt the habit of getting lost in thoughts, mostly about the future or past, which often generates more stress on top of the real pressures of everyday life. Mindfulness offers not only a way of reducing stress and preventing low mood, it also holds potential to improve the way we live, helping us to thrive and be resilient at work and in our broader lives.
Viva Insights app on MS Teams
To access free 'Headspace' short guided meditations, breathing exercises and focus music, just type 'Viva Insights' into your MS Teams search bar. This app also allows you to send praise, book focus time, reflect on how you're feeling and much more. You can pin this app if you use it regularly.
Internal training and videos
- Dealing with anxieties, worries and concerns training (2hr)
- Developing high emotional wellbeing training (2hr)
- University of Exeter’s Mind Over Natter wellbeing videos include: How not to worry about worrying with Professor Ed Watkins, Minds, bodies, stress and washing machines with Jonny Wilkins from Talkworks and Be your own life coach.
Other University resources
- The Managing Mental Health and Stress Standard sets out processes for managing stress at the University and links to relevant resources and support.
- It can help to complete a Workplace Pressures Risk Assessment to identify and address causes of stress.
- Taking good care of ourselves can really help us to stay mentally well. Take a look at the ‘Self-care and staying well’ section for resources and advice.
Here are some useful infographics from an organisation called BelievePerform we suscribe to. Once you click on any of the below you can then scroll through all of the images. You can then download these (by right clicking -> 'Save images as'). You can then zoom in for greater clarity.