It’s a very worrying time for a number of people as University Staff adapt to working differently. Some continue to offer essential services at Bangor whilst others work from home. You will find here a number of resources aimed at supporting you as you go about adapting and coping with these changes.
This information supports what can also be found on the University’s Covid-19 pages for staff and further resources will be added regularly. We encourage you to continue with your learning and development during these challenging times.
Resources for Parents
The challenge of working from home whilst children and young people are around can be enough to send anyone into a panic! With schools shut and the extra responsibility of ensuring children continue with some learning, in addition to eating healthily and exercising, can be challenging.
It’s important to keep a clear perspective and to get organised. Older children can take some responsibility for their own learning and to complete work online, and they may need some encouragement. Primary aged children, on the other hand, will need more steering which can take a lot more time and patience!
There is no perfect answer to how we approach these challenges, each home is unique and staff will need to adapt according to their own situation. We hope the resources found here will be of assistance to you as you work from home with children about.
- Working from Home with Children, Hayes article
- Article How to Help Children Manage Anxious Thoughts, Donna Smollet
- Article 5 Ways to Support your Mental Wellbeingwhilst Home Schooling, Aimi Mauders
- Teenage Mental Health
It’s normal for children and young people to feel worried or anxious at the moment. We’ve all experienced sudden changes in our lives and routines – and we’re living with lots of uncertainty about the coming weeks. For some young people, the coronavirus pandemic may also worsen or trigger anxieties they were already struggling with. Find useful information for parents on Young Minds.
Click here for a programme for staff with children who may struggle with anxiety during these difficult times
Positive Mental Health
Much has been written about the advantages of keeping positive during the current crisis. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of focusing too much on the various news updates, which can have a negative impact and cause anxiety. Here you’ll find information that will assist you to keep a focus on positive mental health during Covid-19. See also the useful information on Student Services Mental Health Pages
- Article Where to get help during the Coronavirus Outbreak, Ellen Goddard
- Include article Coping with your Anxiety about Coronavirus
- A quick activity you can do at home to help you consider ways of gaining balance and focus in your life during this time Balance Wheel
- Please find below resources developed by Cruse, should the pandemic directly affect you and your family:
Please follow the link to a practical guide to Managing Stress and Wellbeing Positively
- Podcasts - top tips for good Mental Health, prepared by students past and present from the School of Psychology.
During the global pandemic and the changes to our working and personal lives there are many things that we can do to enhance our personal well-being – keeping a structure to our day, building in pleasant events and activities that help us build a sense of achievement. Sometimes, however, this is not enough and we need and want to take a closer look at our emotions and what they are telling us.
Professor Swales, an international expert in treatments specialising in emotions, from the School of Psychology at Bangor University, has prepared a talk that which describes how to get a better understanding of our emotions. She covers the main emotion ‘families’ and why we experience them before then moving on to describe when to act on our emotions and when and how to reduce emotions that are too intense. She finishes her presentation with describing how to manage extreme emotions in order to get back on track and solve the problems eliciting the emotions. This could very well be useful for many trying to adapt during the current pandemic. The talk lasts approximately 55 minutes but can be completed at shorter intervals to suit your committments.
- Talk for staff via panopto - Getting a Better Understanding of our Emotions
- Talk for staff via imovie - Acceptance
Thank you to Elizabeth Burnside, Academic Director at the North Wales Clinical Psychology Programme (School of Psychology) for an introduction to Acceptance as a wellbeing strategy. During this 10 minute video Elizabeth explains how we can all benefit from understanding and practicing this skill of acceptance, especially during difficult times such as the current covid-19 pandemic.
Staying positive during Isolation
Some practical information to assist whilst facing long periods of isolation.
In reality our situations will differ greatly. Some will de adapting with a house full, others will be concerned for vulnerable family members, some will be far away from their families and some will be alone. Whatever your situation we can support each other and it’s important to keep in touch.
- What should I consider when planning and adapting to working from home?
Maintaining health and wellbeing, is something we all have responsibility for and as a result, need to think about. Specifically, when we work remotely, there are some unique challenges. These include:
- Ensuring you have the equipment needed and setting up your home workspace safely
- Practice habits that boost mental wellbeing – see Carefirst, Employee Assistance Programme webpages for guidance for Bangor University staff.
- Ensuring your you follow remote working good practice – see Microsoft Remote Work Checklist HERE
- Remember: The health and wellbeing comes first. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is important to help you avoid burnout. Make time for meals, drink plenty of water, and remember to mentally ‘clock out’ from remote work at the end of the day. If you are concerned about your wellbeing or that of a colleague:
- Talk through your concerns with your line manager or encourage a colleague to do the same;
- Explore the wellbeing advice and services available via the Occupational Health Webpages
- Consider completing a Wellness Action Plan – your line manager can assist with this
- Speak to the Occupational Health Nurse about health and wellbeing concerns that are affecting your ability to carry out general daily activities, including your ability to carry out your work
- Ensure you follow NHS and Public Health Wales guidance in relation to Covid-19
- Familiarise yourselves with mind.org.uk guidance for wellbeing and welfare matters
Lastly, remember to role model these behaviours and others within the team will quickly follow. This is a period of immense change for all of us.
- Tips – Think Positive
- Over the last three months Mindfulness Sessions have been available to staff on Wednesday afternoons and they have proven very popular. Please note that the provision will continue but on a slightly different format from 1st July 2020. Regular practice sessions will be held by a partner charity linked to the University – The Mindfulness Network - https://www.mindfulness-network.org/free-online-practice-sessions/
The practice sessions will be delivered by teachers who are connected with Bangor University’s Centre for Mindfulness
Here is a resource shared by the Mindfulness Center in Bangor:
Your financial health and wellbeing
These uncertain times will cause financial concern for some. If you’re concerned about your salary and terms and conditions you should speak to your line manager in the first instance. The Human Resources Officer responsible for your school or department is also available to support.
There are a number of organisations that may be able to assist should you need to alter your financial arrangements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition there are options to delay mortgage payments for a period and interest free loan and credit card offers also. Speak to your local bank as soon as possible.
You might also find is useful to contact Carefirst the EAP provider. Many staff think that they focus on counselling services, however they have a much broader provision. This includes information specialist advisers who can advise you on a host of practical matters. This service is also available for your family members.
Please find here a selection of articles provided by Care First, the University Employee Assistance Programme.
Please keep an eye on this page as it will be updated on a regular basis. The item below titled ‘weekly publicity calendar’ shows the webinar’s that Care 1st run every week, and links for you to view webinar’s that have previously been run.
- Weekly Publicity Calendar – a list of webinars currently taking place
- How CareFirst can support you and an update on services
- Top Tips to Boost Immunity
- The emotional impact of Lone Working
- Pressure of Buying at Christmas
- Protecting and Supporting Mantal Health this Winter
- Making Positive Changes to your Wellbeing
- Schools Returning
- Post-lockdown Anxiety
- How Care First can support you and an update on our service
- COVID-19 - Starting a new role remotely
- How the pandemic has changed our relationships
- Financial Wellbeing this Summer
- How to build healthier habits beyond lockdown
- Travel Safety
- Has Coronavirus made us more debt aware
- Fake News
- Communication - The importance of listening
- Change and how to manage it
- Hopelessness Ways to stay positive during Covid-19
- Safe alcahol limits after lockdown
- Mens Health Awareness
- Top Tips for better work-life balance during lock down
- How Care 1st can support you during Covid-19
- Post Lockdown Social Distancing Anxiety
- Pressure to be Productive
- Tips for Improving Posture
- Top Tips for Managing a Remote Team
- 3 Stages of Pandemic Response
- How to Build Healthier Habits Beyond Lockdown
- Travel Safety
- Has Coronavirus Made Us More Debt Aware
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020:
Domestic Violence – information for staff
As you may have learned from the media, the current lockdown is having serious implications for those either already experiencing or at risk of experiencing domestic violence. Domestic violence includes sexual violence, verbal abuse, coercion, threats and /or financial control between intimate partners or family members.
UK charities supporting Domestic Violence survivors have all reported significant increases in the use of their services since the lockdown began and professionals believe this to be caused by the sustained physical proximity of partners and the emotional intensity this may be causing. In addition to having exacerbated existing situations, measures such as social distancing and isolation are also being used as a tool by perpetrators to further control an individual and stop them from seeking help or medical attention.
If you are a member of staff experiencing domestic violence or you are aware that someone you manage or work with is experiencing domestic violence the following can be contacted for help and support:
- The Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 in Wales and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 802 4040.
Information and support can also be found on these websites
- Welsh Womens Aid https://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/information-and-support/
- Gorwel http://www.grwpcynefin.org/en/eich-cymuned/gorwel/
- The Bright Sky mobile app, free to download from the App Store or Google Play, provides support and information to anyone who may be experiencing domestic abuse or is concerned about someone they know.
Free travel available for those leaving home/place of residence to seek refuge
Women, men and their children travelling to refuge accommodation while coronavirus lockdown measures are in force can still apply for free train travel through a partnership between train companies and Women’s Aid.
Tickets can be accessed through the member services of Women’s Aid Federation of England, Welsh Women’s Aid, Scottish Women’s Aid and Imkaan (addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls), once an offer of a refuge place has been received.
To obtain a free rail ticket an individual should get in touch with their local domestic violence service (which can be found at https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/) and the service can request the tickets on behalf of the person.
Support for anyone concerned about their use of violence and abuse can be found here:
- 0808 8024040