Napier promotes safe, open and inclusive work environment

Universities UK’s Stepchange Framework looks at student mental health and wellbeing through four ‘domains’ of Learn, Support, Work and Live. Good mental health is
central to an engaged, productive and creative work environment, as the following example shows.

Edinburgh Napier University offers targeted mental health training to all staff who are in direct contact with students as part of work to ensure health and wellbeing is at the heart of university culture.

The University’s Counselling and Mental Wellbeing team offer monthly online mental health awareness-raising sessions for both staff and students with workshops focusing on increasing staff awareness around students’ mental health, how to support students in distress, and referral pathways for students.

The University also has a Mental Health Champions Network, launched in May 2020, where trained Mental Health Champions are the first point of contact for colleagues experiencing mental health issues or emotional distress. So far, 60 members of staff have undertaken the Scottish Mental Health First Aid programme and are trained in how to help others get the appropriate mental health support needed as quickly as possible. Staff are also invited to participate in psychoeducational workshops that aim to increase understanding of emotional and cognitive coping strategies. This has enabled coping strategies to be cascaded to students by both professional services and personal development tutors.

Staff are also provided with free access to SilverCloud, which offers online self-directed programmes for anxiety, sleep issues, financial issues, and support for resilience and stress. This is complimented by free access to TogetherAll, a confidential online platform offering secure forums and access to confidential help and support. Collectively, this helps to build the on the concept of a whole, healthy University approach to mental health, strengthening the resilience of both staff members and students.