Category Archives: Wellbeing

Have your say on equity and diversity

The draft version of UC’s Equity and Diversity Policy is currently out for consultation, and staff are encouraged to provide feedback on it.

The document articulates the University’s commitment to equity and diversity and is intended as a framework for embedding principles relating to equity and diversity at UC. It has been developed by the Central Equity & Diversity Advisory Committee.

Read the draft policy here

Feedback can be emailed to Timothy Rowe up until 31 July 2017.

See more about equity and diversity at UC

Workshop on Mental Health in the Workplace

The Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce (CECC) is running an ‘Understanding and Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace’ workshop as follows.

Given that nearly 50 percent of New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, with depression projected to overcome heart disease as the biggest global health burden by 2020, there is a fundamental need for workplaces to understand and support mental health.

Shaun Robinson, CEO of the Mental Health Foundation New Zealand will present on:

  • The current state of mental health in Aotearoa New Zealand workplaces – prevalence, impact and presentation
  • The role of the workplace in fostering a mentally-healthy environment
  • Where to start – and what workplaces can do as initiatives, practical tools, strategies and support for staff

Date: Monday 31 July

Time: 4.00pm – 5.00pm

Venue: The Chamber, 57 Kilmore Street

Member’s Cost: $20 koha (donation) to the Mental Health Foundation

Given UC’s ongoing commitment to Health, Safety and Wellbeing, we encourage any staff member to attend. UC has a membership with Canterbury Employer’s Chamber of Commerce and details about our membership number and password can be accessed here;

How to support each other over winter

Paul O’Flaherty, Executive Director of Human Resources, outlines some great ways to help and support each other over winter.

In these winter months, it’s timely to remind ourselves about ways that we can help and support each other to maintain our physical, mental and emotional health.

The UC Recreation Centre continues to have some good deals for staff. The UC Health Centre is also available to staff. And don’t forget that our Employee Assistance Programme is available free of charge not just to staff but also to staff members’ families.

We continue to get excellent feedback about the Growing Personal Resilience programme, and there are also a number of other helpful programmes such as the Communications Skills workshop, along with a number of other workshops that help people leaders and staff build their skills and lessen the pressure of their work. There are also a number of workshops that focus specifically on keeping us all healthy and safe in the workplace.

If a student comes to you for help: –  one of the best things you can do is to simply be there and listen.  If you do provide referral details to a student, follow-up to see if they sought help.

The UC Health Centre has a doctor and/or counsellor on duty at all times and can provide medical treatment and undertake emergency referrals.
Contact details – Off campus: +64 3 364 2402.
On campus extension: 6402

The Student Care team is available to listen and provide practical advice and guidance to most issues faced by students.
Contact details: 
+64 3 369 3388.

Find out more about support for students at

You may also be interested in finding out about the  modular programme for Supporting Students in Crisis click here.

Coping with emotions – #MenStartTalking

As part of Men’s Health Month, Alex Mortlock, Clinical Psychologist at UC Health Centre gives some advice about coping with emotions.

Men, we are as prone to emotions as anyone else. They drive our behaviour for better or worse even when we aren’t aware of them. Learning to skilfully cope with feelings can improve our quality of life now and our chances of reaching our goals for the future.

Here is one strategy that can help. When you are feeling something isn’t right, take a moment to notice the sensations you’re feeling in your body – Where are they? What do they look like? See if you can name the feeling – sadness, anxiety, embarrassment, envy, etc. Say to yourself, “this is a moment of anxiety (or other feeling)”. Notice any thoughts are going through your mind. Say to yourself, “I am having the thought that I am useless (or equivalent)”. See if you can make room for these experiences and allow them to come and go naturally.

Rather than reacting automatically, by denying the feelings, lashing out, getting drunk, self-harming, procrastinating, withdrawing from other people, exercising to exhaustion, etc., take a moment, then decide on an action that will address the cause of the stress or that will enhance your life in some other way (e.g., getting started on a project, talking to someone, taking a break, doing something healthy). Thoughts and feelings cannot harm us, and with time, they will pass if we let them.

Check out these Good Fellas videos- some famous, some not-so-famous, talking about their health, and about what “being a man” means to them. #MenStartTalking 

Need help now?

Men, depression and exercise – #MenStartTalking

As part of Men’s Health Month, UC Sport manager Grant Robertson shares his thoughts on depression and exercise. #MenStartTalking

There are times in everyone’s life when we feel down or like we just can’t cope. Feeling depressed, sad or anxious can be a normal reaction to loss, stress, worry, or periods of low self-esteem. Especially when one of our great New Zealand sports teams lose! But when these feelings last for more than a few days or weeks, and stop us from living life as usual, it can be a sign that something is wrong.

Depression is the most common mental health condition. One in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime, and in sport, one in five elite athletes suffer. High profile people at the top of their game like Greg Inglis and John Kirwan all battle with this condition. There are no typical characteristics of people who are more or less likely to get depressed.

So what can we do guys?

Get out and get moving – it will certainly help!

Regular exercise has been proven to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve sleep

If you are starting out for the first time here is a great guideline from Men’s Health NZ to follow  – click here

Here are some other tips to help you get started:

  • Choose an activity you enjoy. Exercising should be fun.
  • Put your exercise routine into your schedule. Better yet, put it on your calendar.
  • Variety is the spice of life. Make sure you vary your exercises so that you don’t get bored.
  • Stick with it. If you exercise regularly, it will soon become part of your lifestyle and will help reduce your depression.

Watch this little message from Hugh Jackman too – click here

And don’t forget UC Sport run a whole range of fun sports and activities so get involved – click here

Men Start Talking poster snip 2