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Today is World Mental Health Day

Wellbeing logo white hand and heart graphic and white lettering to green background

Today is the World Mental Health Day – a day which aims to raise awareness about mental health issues. Please take a moment to reflect on your own wellbeing, the support that is available at the University and how we can support each other.

The University is working on a range of initiatives to support the wellbeing of our students and colleagues. One of these was the recent ‘Wellbeing Week’.

Throughout the week, colleagues met for lunchtime picnics in the sun, attended Pilates, joined up with the new Staff Running Group, went gardening, went for a walk and went singing. These events only happened because of the generosity of colleagues. We would like to thank everyone who made time to welcome and include other people.

‘Wellbeing Week’ officially started with the wellbeing themed ‘Get Together’. More than 180 colleagues dropped in at lunchtime to hear about the upcoming events. Those who attended learned about reduced staff membership for the SportsPark, sampled a range of the new “Oumph!” 100% plant based sandwiches and spoke with Professor Jeremy Spencer and Professor Bob Rastall (Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences) about functional foods and diet and health.

Many positive comments were received about the delicious healthy lunch that colleagues at Venue Reading provided.

The British Heart Foundation came onto Whiteknights campus to hold “Know your heart age” awareness sessions; of the 144 places available across the week, 143 were taken up.

Importantly, the interactive health kiosk, which was located in the JJT building all week, gave more than 700 insights into blood pressure, body fat %, weight, height & BMI. (No data was recorded or stored).

To everyone who made Wellbeing Week happen – Thank you!


Wellbeing Week was organised in a collaboration between Staff Forum, Occupational Health and Human Resources. Events to promote Wellbeing at the other University campsus are currently being discussed. If you would like to get involved, contact the Staff Forum.

Five Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. If you give them a try you may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from life. The five steps are:

Give to others

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with people around you.

Take notice/be mindful

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep learning

Try something new or rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

Be active

Swap your inactive pursuits with active ones. Go for a walk. Step outside. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Walk or cycle when making short journeys. Being active makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.


Connect with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.


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