Health and Wellbeing
By Marlene Dong on October 28, 2019
Supporting the mental health of faculty, staff and students has long been an important priority for UBC. Mental health literacy and action are key focuses in the Focus on People 2025 framework and Wellbeing Strategic Framework.
Thrive is just one of the many mental health initiatives at UBC, and 2019 marks 10 years of Thrive at UBC. What started as a conversation between colleagues about the importance of reducing stigma associated with mental health has since grown into a movement celebrated across Canada. This year, Thrive is hosting a month-long series of events at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. It’s an opportunity for all faculty, staff and students to enhance their mental health literacy and boost their mental health. Here are some ways you can champion mental health and wellbeing in your UBC workplace in November and all year long.
Thrive (Nov. 1-30):
- Use the Thrive 5 to build mental health in the workplace
- Attend a Thrive event, including the free spin class, kick-off event at the Student Recreation Centre on Nov. 1. Saje Wellness will also be hosting wellness activities for those who prefer not to spin.
- Access mental health resources
Not Myself Today (Nov. 1-30):
Many departments and units across the university will be taking part in Not Myself Today, a national workplace mental health initiative that helps to build greater awareness, reduce stigma and foster safe and supportive cultures. Learn more about the UBC-wide mental health resources available to help support your workplace conversations and initiatives and to promote wellbeing among colleagues and teams.
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge (Nov. 1-30):
Encourage your workplace and colleagues to register for the next Mindfulness Challenge. The program is free and open to all UBC staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows in Vancouver and the Okanagan. It is a great team-building activity and a simple way to introduce mindfulness as a way to help reduce stress, gain perspective and increase resilience at work and in life. Visit the 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge page to learn more and to download a printable poster for your department.
Thank you for supporting UBC’s efforts to help everyone thrive.
By Breeonne Baxter on August 8, 2019
We have three upcoming office ergonomics training sessions – all UBC staff and faculty are invited to attend.
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The Ergonomics program at UBC strives to have an Office Ergonomics Representative for each department. Office Ergo Reps are trained by the Ergonomics Advisor in simple computer workstation set-up, signs and symptoms of injuries from poor ergonomic set-up and control strategies to reduce or prevent symptoms.
At this training, Office Ergo Rep participants will learn:
- Basic ergonomic risk factors
- Proper computer workstation set-up
- How to conduct ergonomic assessment for minor issues as well as a quick screen for new hires
Participants will also be provided with training material to share with their colleague
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What To Expect:
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury.
This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation and a practical session giving you hands on experience adjusting typical office equipment.
By the end of the tutorial you will know how to set up your chair, keyboard/mouse and monitor to promote neutral working postures.
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What To Expect: This workshop will provide participants with important information about different types of sit-stand desks and platforms available on the market. Understanding the pros and cons of each will assist departments, staff and faculty in deciding which option is most suitable.
Product samples will be available for participants to try out in order to get an idea of how the different models impact positioning and workflow.
Workshop participants will also learn proper set-up for sit-stand desks and how frequently to alternate positions. Participants will receive information on UBC’s Sit-Stand Demo Program and process.
This workshop is for managers, purchasing personnel and staff/faculty who are considering getting a sit-stand desk or platform.
By Chelsey Maher on May 24, 2019
This year’s UBC Staff Pension Fair takes place on Thursday, June 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre on the Vancouver campus. This is a drop-in event; no RSVP is required.
The Pension Fair is a great opportunity for members to learn more about their pension plan and increase their pension knowledge. We are also pleased to have the following groups in attendance:
- UBC Retirement and Survivor Benefits
- UBC Employee and Family Assistance Program
- UBC Investment Management Trust (IMANT) Inc.
- CARP (Canadian Association for Retired Persons)
- BC Federation of Retired Union Members (FORUM) (new in 2019!)
Visit the SPP Pension Fair event website for more details.
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!