Building mental health: Tools and resources for managers, heads and deans

What Can Managers and Supervisors do to Support Faculty and Staff Wellbeing during COVID-19?

Many of us are adjusting to remote work, uncertainty, and disruptions to our personal lives. As we navigate these unprecedented times, it is important to consider ways to support mental health and resilience.  The resources and links below are updated regularly.

Here are tips for coping and supporting your teams:

Keep checking-in and encourage communication

Stay in contact with employees, be open and transparent. During remote work, team collaboration and communication can become disconnected if it is not supported. Provide a variety of opportunities for employees to stay connected, and share concerns and questions through communication channels. Use virtual meeting options like Skype for Business for regular check-ins.

The AIR Model leadership tool for checking-in.

Tips to respond to employee anxiety.

Ways to build respectful online work environments.

Recognize the impact of isolation

Working remotely and physical distancing can lead to isolation and loneliness. Pay attention to significant changes in a team member’s personality or work, as it may be a sign that they are struggling.

Learn more about how to insulate against isolation.

Understand the signs and indicators of declining mental health with the Mental Health First Aid Guide for Managers

Care for yourself and encourage others to do the same

Stay informed by accessing a few reliable sources of evidence-based information but limit media consumption. Be active. Calm your mind. Take your lunch break. Practice self-care strategies and encourage your team to do the same.

We suggest sharing the Mental Health First Aid and The Working Mind Self-Care and Resilience Guides or encouraging your reports to enroll in UBC’s Self-Care 101 online course (self-guided in Canvas).

Access, share and leverage resources to enhance workplace mental health

Support workplace mental health by sharing key resources and services available to support individual and team mental health and resilience.

Click here for UBC mental health resources.

Don’t forget that your teams still have access to ongoing programs such as the Not Myself Today Initiative (online mental health modules) and the 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge.

Access free Mental Health and Crisis Response Training for Essential Workers from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Acknowledge that work will be impacted

It takes time to adjust to a new way of working and being. Certain aspects of work may slow down while others may speed up, priorities may shift,

and people might be experiencing additional caregiving responsibilities. Remember that everyone is experiencing this together and can support one another.

Reassure your team as best as you can. Remind them that everyone is experiencing this together. Encourage them to support one another.

Tips to support mental health while working remotely.

Tips for working remotely with children at home and supports for caregivers.

Free online leadership course – Navigating Extraordinary Times (Athabasca U).

Reminder: Stay up to date with UBC HR’s COVID FAQ’s for Managers and Supervisors.

Stay up-to-date with the latest information and updates on COVID-19 and UBC’s response. Visit for useful FAQs and resources for UBC faculty, staff and students.

Mental health education and information​

As a supervisor, you play an important role in creating a positive and healthy work environment for your staff.

The resources listed below are from both UBC and external organizations, and they address some of the most common questions managers have about:

  • Mental health education and information, including counselling and on-campus resources for staff and faculty
  • Mental health issues in the workplace, including where to find coaching support
  • Tips on creating a healthy work environment

We encourage you to contact us directly if you are seeking specific training to help you address mental health issues with your staff or faculty. Remember: You do not need to be an expert to help someone in need.

UBC resources

Mental health issues in the workplace

The UBC Reach Out page contains both UBC and external mental health resources for all campus audiences.

UBC resources

External resources

Creating a healthy work environment

UBC resources

External resources

External resources are not produced by UBC and UBC is not responsible for their content. External links are intended to educate and inform but not to replace UBC policies or procedures.