Health and Wellbeing
By Breeonne Baxter on March 27, 2019
Gather your colleagues and join one of the largest university-wide events for faculty and staff. Sports Day is an annual event where teams from departments across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses compete in a variety of fun, recreational challenges that can only be accomplished through teamwork and collaboration. This event is free for faculty and staff, and all abilities are welcome.
This year’s Sports Day is on May 3. Registration is now open:
By Melissa Baluk on February 21, 2019
UBC is recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers in 2019. This designation recognizes the British Columbian employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work and the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.
Some of the reasons that UBC was selected as one of BC’s Top Employers this year:
- UBC offers a Healthy Workplace Initiatives Fund to support employee-led grassroots activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace — the unique program features one-time start-up funds and support for health-related and sustainable initiatives, from yoga classes to bike-share programs to building their own community gardens.
- UBC provides new moms and dads maternity and parental leave top-up payments (varying by position); and faculty, staff and students can take advantage of on-campus daycare centres, which have over 600 spaces for children.
- UBC employees work at one of Canada’s most beautiful campuses, which features a shoreline hiking trail and great views of the distant mountains and the surrounding Salish Sea — employees are also encouraged to keep fit with subsidized membership to the onsite state-of-the-art fitness facility that includes instructor-led classes, swimming, skating, tennis, rock climbing and more.
Read more about BC’s Top Employers awards at http://www.canadastop100.com/bc/.
Looking to join UBC? Check out our career listings at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/careers/.
By Marlene Dong on January 18, 2019
On Jan. 30, let’s talk about mental health. Bell Let’s Talk Day is an opportunity to join a national conversation about mental health challenges and help reduce the stigma around mental illness.
UBC is committed to building mentally healthy workplaces where all employees can thrive – and we all have a part to play. Our ability to live, learn, work and support one another at UBC depends on our mental health and resilience. Bell Let’s Talk Day is one of the ways we encourage UBC faculty, staff and students to think about mental health, to reach out to one another and connect with the resources, services and supports available at UBC and in the broader community.
Here are five simple ways you can support mental health at UBC*:
- Learn about the mental health supports available.
- Find out how you can help a colleague in distress or help a student in distress.
- Register for a mental health training program or workshop at UBC Vancouver.
- Use Early Alert to share concerns about students.
- Find out if your workplace has a Wellbeing Liaison – there are over 70 on the Vancouver campus who focus on supporting student wellbeing! If your department/unit doesn’t have a Liaison, consider becoming one.
* Available at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan unless otherwise noted.
End the stigma around mental illness
One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.
Bell Let’s Talk offers 5 simple ways to help end the stigma that keeps too many who struggle with mental illness from seeking the help they need:
- Language matters
- Educate yourself
- Be kind
- Listen and ask
- Talk about it
Get involved with Bell Let’s Talk Day at UBC
- Jan. 25 (7:00 p.m.): Attend the Bell Let’s Talk Women’s Hockey Game, UBC vs. Saskatchewan at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (UBC Vancouver)
- Jan. 30: Visit one of the many Bell Let’s Talk booths hosted by the Wellness Peers and student leader groups all over campus (UBC Vancouver)
Thank you for supporting Bell Let’s Talk Day and for contributing to a safe, healthy and respectful community at UBC.
About Bell Let’s Talk Day
Bell Let’s Talk is a charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. Since 2010, Bell has committed to donate at least $100 million to support a wide range of mental health organizations, large and small, from coast to coast focusing on anti-stigma, care and access, workplace mental health and research. Annually, on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each engagement on social media.
By Breeonne Baxter on May 9, 2018
Staff and faculty at UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses are invited to participate in the Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge, May 28 – June 22, 2018. Register by May 23 to take part.
By Marlene Dong on April 9, 2018
UBC has received the 2018 Platinum Extra Mile Award, the highest honour given by the Canadian Cancer Society to recognize outstanding work in workplace health and wellness. UBC was commended for its commitment to employee health and for using a variety of strategies and approaches to collectively support UBC workplace environments. In particular, UBC earned high praise for its holistic focus on workplace wellbeing. The UBC model of embedding health and wellbeing – from the organizational level through Focus on People to employee groups and individuals – was seen as unique and reinforced UBC’s reputation as a leader in the area of sustainable workplace health and wellbeing.
“Thank you to all our colleagues and long-standing UBC partners at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses who continue to contribute meaningfully to a supportive, respectful and healthy work environment at UBC,” said Natasha Malloff, Director of Health, Wellbeing & Benefits, UBC Human Resources. “This award is a timely recognition as wellbeing has emerged as an institutional priority, one that builds on existing strategic priorities and practices. We’ve seen significant growth in collaboration across portfolios, faculties and units, and we’ll continue our collective, strategic, holistic efforts to make UBC a place where individuals can flourish.”
At a special ceremony on March 28, 2018, UBC HR’s Workplace Wellbeing Strategist Crystal Hutchinson and Health & Wellbeing Associate Melissa Lafrance accepted the award on UBC’s behalf. UBC was among 14 finalists at the Gold level which included Thompson Rivers University, RBC, Telus and ICBC. Due to the calibre of nominees, a Platinum level was created and UBC became the inaugural winners of the award.
About UBC HR and Wellbeing at UBC:
UBC Human Resources recognizes the foundational importance of wellbeing. As one of the first universities in the world to adopt the Okanagan Charter, UBC is committed to being a health-promoting university, the type of institution that excels in teaching, learning and research, and recognizes that excellence is rooted in the sustainable wellbeing of people, places, and the planet.
About the Canadian Cancer Society Extra Mile Awards:
The Extra Mile Awards were created by the Canadian Cancer Society to recognize the hard work and effort of workplaces committed to building strong workplace wellness programs. Now in its third year, the awards program empowers workplaces to focus on the health and wellness of their employees. For more information, visit www.healthywork.ca.
By Breeonne Baxter on April 5, 2018
UBC Human Resources and UBC Recreation invite you to join us at UBC’s Staff & Faculty Sports Day, on May 4, 2018.
Sports Day is a free, fun event for staff and faculty to build teamwork and celebrate the end of the school year by taking part in physical and intellectual challenges with colleagues.
See you at Sports Day!
By Breeonne Baxter on January 12, 2018
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) at UBC began in 2009 as a student initiative, and has since grown to include programming for all employees at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses each January. This month, everyone is encouraged to join the conversation that is happening in the media, in our communities, and around the world. The goal of SAAM is to raise awareness and understanding about sexual assault and what we can do to help prevent it.
- Access the SAAM toolkit for newsletter and social media messages, digital signage, email signatures, printable Denim Day stickers and posters.
- For the Vancouver calendar of SAAM events, visit ubc.ca/saam.
- For Okanagan events, visit ok.ubc.ca/saam.html.
Key events you can attend
- Jan. 15: SAAM Keynote, featuring guest speaker Farrah Khan
- Jan. 17: Denim Day, an opportunity to show your support for ending sexual assault on campus at worldwide
- Jan. 25: Parenting Tips, a free session on how to talk to your kids about sexual health, facilitated by certified sexual health educator Miranda Massie
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, or to learn how you can support survivors, please contact:
- UBC’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office
- Counselling services through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
Thank you for helping to create an inclusive and respectful culture at UBC.
By Breeonne Baxter on April 24, 2017
Staff and faculty at the UBC Vancouver campus are invited to participate in the Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge, May 15 – June 9, 2017. Register by May 10 to take part.
By Breeonne Baxter on April 4, 2017
UBC Human Resources and UBC Recreation invite you to join us at UBC’s Staff & Faculty Sports Day, on May 5, 2017.
Sports Day is a free, fun event for staff and faculty to build teamwork and celebrate the end of the school year by taking part in physical and intellectual challenges with colleagues… as well as a free lunch!
See you at Sports Day!
By Breeonne Baxter on January 23, 2017
UBC’s Suicide Awareness Day is Jan. 25, 2017. Each year, this day is held to bring awareness to the UBC campus community regarding suicide prevention by educating students, staff and faculty on the resources available to them on campus.
As heads and leaders at UBC, we ask that you help us to start a conversation about suicide prevention with everyone in the University community.
Most people who take their own lives show some signs that they are thinking about it beforehand. As a head of unit, we encourage you to learn how to reach out in case you have colleagues or students in need of support.
Learn about the warning signs for suicide at http://thrive.ubc.ca/prevent-suicide/.
Assisting students in distress involves three basic principles: See, say, and do something.
See something: Pay attention to warning signs
You may be the first person to see signs that a student is in distress. It’s important to pay attention to warning signs. Mental health concerns can have a significant impact on everyday life, including academics.
Say something: Trust your instincts
Say something if you’re worried about a student or if they leave you feeling concerned. It’s okay to share your concerns about a student with someone else at the University in order to provide the student with support.
Do something: Reach out and help
A student may not know help is available or may hesitate to ask for it. Connect the student with resources and identify your concerns using Early Alert.
- Download Printable guides to helping students in distress: Green Folder (Vancouver campus) | Blue Folder (Okanagan campus)
Supporting your colleagues in distress involves similar principles to supporting students:
See Something: Recognize visible changes in behavior
If you see behaviour that is out of character or unusual for your colleagues, know that early intervention plays a key role in recovery from mental health challenges.
Say Something: Respond with concern and empathy
Often we may notice changes in behaviour, but are unsure how to approach a person having difficulties. Reaching out to a colleague shows care and concern, and opens a dialogue to check how they are doing.
Do Something: Refer your colleague to available resources
Staff and faculty may not be aware of the wide range of support services available to them, or may be hesitant to ask for help. There are ways to connect your colleagues to resources, or to learn about them together.
If you or a colleague are experiencing an emergency or crisis and require immediate counselling services, call UBC’s EFAP provider, Shepell, at 1-800-387-4765 and select the emergency option to speak to a crisis counsellor. More information on UBC’s Employee & Family Assistance Program at http://hr.ubc.ca/efap/.
Empowering yourself with knowledge and taking advantage of support can help you become more resilient when faced with challenges. http://thrive.ubc.ca/get-help/
Other Ways to Raise Awareness for Suicide Prevention at UBC
Wear orange: Wear orange on Jan. 25 to show your support for those whose lives have been affected by the suicide of friends, family members, students, or colleagues, and to show that you want to reach out to those who are considering suicide. http://thrive.ubc.ca/2017/01/09/suicide-awareness/
Take the Suicide Myths and Facts Quiz: Knowing the facts is an important part of raising suicide awareness, preventing suicide, and combating stigma. Test your knowledge by taking the quiz.
Learn more about how to prevent suicide: If you need help for yourself or if you are concerned about someone else, reach out and help prevent suicide: http://thrive.ubc.ca/prevent-suicide/
In-person trainings: Sign up for Suicide Prevention Training (QPR), or arrange a QPR training session in your unit.