University staff are asked to open up about stress and wellbeing in what is likely the first nationwide survey designed to temperature check sector worker’s mental health.
As universities react to a student mental health crisis by rushing out new student wellbeing strategies, this new study aims to shift the spotlight on to staff.
Brunel University London social work lecturer Vida Douglas hopes the findings will help universities work out how they can better look after their staff.
“In the Higher Education sector, we are increasingly encouraging our students to talk more,” said Vida, who recently moved from lecturing at London Metropolitan University. “That is a vital and positive movement, but more needs to be done to encourage our colleagues to talk.”
The survey follows a national conference at London Met in July when more than 100 employees from 40 UK universities shared research on HE sector staff wellbeing and opened the topic for debate. They talked about financial problems among staff, the tendency to check emails after hours and a need for colleagues to look out for each other and spot when someone is struggling.
“It’s clear that not enough is being done, to support staff in higher education,” Vida added. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having discussions like these.”
“It’s important that we get this right and it’s important that we work together on making a positive difference to the lives of ourselves and our colleagues.”
The survey, which runs until December 17 takes about 20 minutes to complete. Personal information will remain publicly anonymous.
Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations
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