Health & Wellbeing

Call for Applications – Trans, Two-Spirit and Gender Diversity Task Force

The UBC Equity and Inclusion Office is committed to building a more inclusive campus community. As part of efforts to advance these commitments, a Trans, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diversity task force will provide strategic direction to UBC’s senior leadership in the area of gender identity, gender expression and human rights.

Interested? Apply by February 9, 2020.

To learn more or apply for the task force, visit: https://equity.ubc.ca/get-involved/call-for-applications-trans-two-spirit-and-gender-diversity-task-force/

Let’s talk about mental health on Jan. 29: Bell Let’s Talk Day

On Jan. 29, let’s talk about mental health. Bell Let’s Talk Day is an opportunity to join a national conversation about mental health challenges and to help reduce the stigma around mental illness.

“Having struggled with depression throughout my youth and young adult life, I know how important it is to speak openly and honestly about mental health issues.  There is nothing to be ashamed of and things can get better with appropriate support and counseling. Thanks to programs like Bell Let’s Talk, we can now have an open and honest dialogue about mental health.” – President Santa Ono

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.

Five simple ways you can support mental health at UBC*

  1. Learn about mental health supports
  2. Find out how you can help a colleague in distress or help a student in distress.
  3. Register for a mental health training program or workshop at UBC Vancouver.
  4. Sign up to participate in the Not Myself Campaign to learn how to support talking openly about mental health in your workplace.
  5. Share the Wellbeing in Teaching and Learning Environments resources in your workplace.

* Available at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan unless otherwise noted.

End the stigma around mental illness

One in five people in Canada will experience a mental health issue or illness in any given year. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming societal and cultural prejudices about mental health issues. 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. 29: Visit one of the many Bell Let’s Talk booths hosted by the Wellness Peers and student leader groups all over campus.  Faculty and staff are invited to stop by to get a Bell Let’s Talk toque and other swag (UBC Vancouver)
  • Jan. 31 (7:00 p.m.): Attend the Bell Let’s Talk Women’s Hockey Game, UBC vs. Lethbridge at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (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.

Upcoming workplace wellbeing workshops

Our Workplace Wellbeing team is hosting three upcoming workshops:

Jan. 20: QPR Suicide Intervention Training is an internationally recognized suicide intervention program designed to help you question, persuade, and refer.

Jan. 22 & 29: Mental Health First Aid training is to improve mental health literacy. This workshop provides participants with the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague.

Jan. 28-29: Search Inside Yourself is a training that uses emotional intelligence and mindfulness to optimize performance, build leadership skills and increase wellbeing. This two-day workshop has a cost of $50, which is eligible for PD funding.

Understanding Your Travel Benefits Information Session: Dec. 11

With the winter months and the holidays fast approaching, many faculty and staff are preparing for vacations both at home and abroad. Sometimes, medical emergencies while travelling can happen – and it can end up being a frightening and costly experience.

Staff and faculty who are enrolled in the UBC extended health benefits plan are invited to attend an information session to understand their travel benefits.

Date: Dec. 11, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Centre for Brain Health, Room 101 (lower level), 2215 Wesbrook Mall
RSVP: Register now

Mental health supports for faculty and staff over the holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time of year. Some faculty and staff may struggle with mental health challenges related to substance use, being away from family and/or trying to support a vulnerable member in their community. In your human resources role, you may encounter situation this season where some staff or faculty in your unit could use some support. UBC has resources available for faculty and staff, as well as their family members.

Please access and share the following:

It’s important to know that you, as well as faculty and staff, are not alone – that anyone can reach out and that help is available.

Wellbeing workshop: Relaxation techniques to help you thrive: Dec. 3

On Dec. 3, we are hosting a free noon-hour session on relaxation techniques to help you thrive.

About this workshop

Our minds and bodies need rest and recovery breaks to allow us to relax and reduce the effects of stress. While everyone has days that are hectic and unfocused, consistently feeling stressed out, rushed, or on-the-go can have a detrimental impact on a person, increasing their risk of experiencing a serious physical concern. This workshop will show participants how to make time to calm down and reduce stress, using both proactive and reactive relaxation techniques.

Course information

Relaxation techniques to help you thrive
Date: Dec. 3, 2019
Time: 12:00  – 1:00 p.m.
Location: TBA
Register online

Free flu clinics: Oct. 29-31

UBC hosts an annual flu immunization campaign offering free flu shots for all students, faculty, and staff. This year’s campaign will run Oct. 29-31, 2019 at the the Nest, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on a drop-in basis. At the clinic, show up and proceed to the registration table.

You can find more information at the Safety & Risk Services site.

Funding for Wellbeing Scholars: Call for proposals by Nov. 15

UBC staff or faculty are invited to submit a proposal to UBC Wellbeing, which is once again providing co-funding support for up to five wellbeing projects that support the health, wellbeing and social sustainability priorities at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.

Since 2017, UBC Wellbeing has co-funded a number of UBC Sustainability Scholars Program projects that support UBC’s various wellbeing strategies, from the Wellbeing Strategic Framework to UBC’s Strategic Plan.

If you have an applied research project that a sustainability scholar student can complete within 250 hours during the May 4 to Aug. 14, 2020, program period, please submit a proposal by Nov. 15, 2019.

Proposed topics will be evaluated based on how they further the goals and principles outlined in the Okanagan Charter and UBC’s 20-Year Sustainability Strategy.

For more information about the funding program or to apply using the proposal template, visit the Wellbeing Scholars website.

To learn more about the UBC Sustainability Scholars Program, visit their website.

Featured Focus on People story: Annual Staff BBQ serves up opportunities for connection and wellbeing

Featured Focus on People story: Annual Staff BBQ serves up opportunities for connection and wellbeing

Read the story: Annual Staff BBQ serves up opportunities for connection and wellbeing

The Welcome Back Staff BBQ stimulates social connections among members of the UBC community. As the university’s Wellbeing Strategic Framework highlights, we believe that “everyone thrives when they feel respected, supported, and part of a community.” That is why our community encourages and creates opportunities for building meaningful connections.

The event is also aligned with the Focus on People 2025 framework through Catalyst #1, which supports actions that create a diverse, inclusive, safe and vibrant environment for those who work at the university.

As many of the staff’s tips suggested, the BBQ is just one of the many initiatives that UBC promotes to improve health and wellbeing in the workplace. It is not an isolated initiative, but part of an integrated effort that is helping to bring UBC’s strategic plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century to life.

Stay tuned for more stories that highlight how the Focus on People 2025 framework is coming to life at UBC.

Wellbeing workshops: Fall stress & resilience series

Join HR’s Health Promotions team and Dr. Thara Vayali in a three-part Stress & Resilience wellbeing series this fall, to explore the stress response, recognize your stress levels, build resilience, and discover the connection between empathy and stress.

These free workshops will be held 12:00-1:00 p.m., in Neville Scarfe (2125 Main Mall). Register for free in the HR events catalog.