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Mental health and wellbeing


What is Mental Health?

Mental health is an essential component of health – it’s as important as our physical health and is essential to our overall wellbeing.

Mental health is defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘a state of wellbeing in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Having good mental health helps us to enjoy our lives more and to make the most of our potential.

What can I do to help my Mental Health?

There are many ways in which you can help look after your mental health. The Mental Health Foundation offer ten suggestions on practical ways and simple changes to help look after your mental health. You could also try some of these ideas to keep your spirits up:

What if I am feeling down?

You are not alone. Students should check the student wellbeing pages for more details of support available.

Managers or staff who are concerned about colleagues should check the guidance on how to access University mental health support.

If you’re a staff member and feel you may need some support, take a look at these avenues:

  • Confidential wellbeing chat - email if you’re feeling a bit down, or would just like a general chat.  An Occupational Health Practitioner (all nurses with wide- ranging experience) will arrange a suitable time during office hours with you.
  • The Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service provides advice, information and counselling for staff in person or by email, phone and Zoom.  Please email or leave a message on 0113 343 3694.
  • Workplace support for your mental wellbeing – If you feel you are struggling and that your wellbeing is impacting your work or stopping you from attending work, try an externally provided virtual, confidential one-to-one workplace support appointment funded by the DWP.  They can help you with nine months of support including a wellbeing plan to help you stay in or attend work, tailored coping strategies and ideas for suitable workplace adjustments.  Book an appointment for the session - email with your name, home phone number, email and organisation name or call 0300 456 8114.
  • University Chaplaincy - Chaplains come from different faith backgrounds and are here for staff of all faiths and all world views. For remote pastoral and spiritual support by appointment or virtual drop-in, contact (with your best availability, name and contact details, or leave a message on 0113 343 5071) or Muslim Adviser Farhat Yaqoob on 07713 707 857 or If you are a staff member in crisis you can call our 'out of hours' number 07780 613 862.  They will respond to you as soon as they can.

Disabled staff can also access the Business Disability Forum (DBF). As well as access to its team of experts, there’s a resource library with guidance, reserch, blogs and podcasts on a range of topics.

Dealing with anxiety:

General support for mental health includes:

  • The NHS offers practical information on where to get support if you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, or need urgent help.
  • 24 hour mental health helpline – for any West Yorkshire resident who is concerned about their mental health or that of their family members or those they care for.
  • Feel like you've had enough (crisis card) - support in times of crisis including for domestic violence, housing, young people, debt and bereavement. Some resources are Leeds-based and some are national. 
  • How are you feeling? - how to find the right support around mental health - aimed particularly at people in Leeds.
  • Leeds Mindwell – local and national mental health support for men, women, LGBT+ , BAME, young people, older people, parents, carers, people with disabilities or physical health problems and others. 
  • For help with finances - contact the National Debt Helpline or Stepchange for advice with debt,  For affordable financial services contact Leeds City Credit Union.
  • Check the NHS site Every Mind Matters for practical tips, videos, expert advice to help you look after your mental health (and wellbeing) – you can also create a personal NHS-approved Mind Plan.

Bereavement Support

  • Cruse Bereavement Care - If you are bereaved and would like to speak with someone, you can call Cruse Bereavement Care for free on 0808 808 1677.
  • GriefChat - A great online resource for bereavement support. Using GriefChat is free of charge and is open Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm (UK time) to grieving or bereaved people.
  • The Good Grief Trust - For bereaved families and run by people who have experienced a bereavement themselves.
  • At a Loss - A website with useful bereavement resources.
  • Sudden - Sudden is a charitable initiative for suddenly bereaved people and the people caring for them.
  • NHS Advice on dealing with grief, bereavement and loss

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