Health & Wellbeing

2019 Workplace Experience Survey Pulse results are now available

2019 Workplace Experience Survey Pulse results are now available

3,283 faculty and staff participated in the 2019 Workplace Experiences Survey (WES) Pulse. They survey findings offer insights into areas that were identified as the top drivers of engagement in the 2017 WES, and that align with the priorities woven into Focus on People 2025: inclusion, leadership, professional growth, and wellbeing.

The overall 2019 WES pulse results will inform many of the Focus on People 2025 metrics reported to the UBC community in the annual FOP 2025 update, which provides progress on making UBC an inspiring place to work.

The results also provide a snapshot of areas of strength and opportunity heading into the next Workplace Experiences Survey.

Interested in sharing your feedback on other aspects of the UBC experience? Sign up for the UBC Open Minds Forum.

View the 2019 Workplace Experiences Survey Pulse Results

Apply now for the Healthy Workplace Initiatives Fund

Apply now for the Healthy Workplace Initiatives Fund

UBC’s favourite workplace funding program is back! Applications are now being accepted for the Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP).

The HWIP provides start-up funds for health-related activities for UBC departments and units interested in promoting wellbeing in the workplace.

To date the program has funded 327 grassroots initiatives, including stretching classes, health challenges, mental health training and creative activities.

In 2019, the HWIP funded the following in Vancouver and the Okanagan:

  • 8 innovative new ideas
  • 2 bike share programs
  • 9 fitness class programs
  • 9 team health challenges
  • 2 mental health training programs
  • 4 arts-based projects
  • 1 community garden

Have a great idea? Want to boost team-building and the health of your colleagues? It’s easy to apply and the benefits to your department or unit can be far-reaching.

Deadline for applications is April 10, 2020.

Full details, including regulations, funding toolkits and application forms can be found on the Healthy Workplace Initiative Fund page.

March is Nutrition Month!

March is Nutrition Month!



Healthy eating is about so much more than food. This year for Nutrition Month, dietitians are encouraging Canadians to consider not only what they eat, but how they eat too.

Healthy eating is about eating mindfully, breaking bread with family and friends, social gatherings, memories, and emotions. Embrace and enjoy your own food culture and traditions and share them with others! For more information and to learn about March nutrition events, visit:

The Environment and Our Health: Dr. David Rehkopf

The Environment and Our Health: Dr. David Rehkopf

The School of Kinesiology presents The Environment and Our Health, New Discoveries – Dr. David Rehkopf. This presentation is the fourth installment of the Killam lecture series on Healthy Aging From Cells to Societies:

David Rehkopf, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Health Research and Policy at Stanford University.

In his lecture, Dr. Rehkopf will describe a new approach to finding social, behavioural and environmental influences on health that increase the reliability of findings and decrease false positive findings.

Event Information:

  • Date: March 10, 2020
  • Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Location: Vancouver General Hospital, Jimmy Pattison Pavilion, Room 1891

Admission is free, however registration is required. To register for this event or for more information, visit:

The Working Mind: Workplace Mental Health Training for Faculty & Staff

Established by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Working Mind is an evidence-based training program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce stigma in a workplace setting. It includes scenario-based practical applications, custom videos of people with lived experience of mental illness, participant reference guides, and related handouts.

Event Information:

  • Date: Monday Feb. 24, 2020 (1 day)
  • Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Building: Tech Enterprise Facilities III – 6TH FLOOR – Multipurpose Room, HR, 6190 Agronomy Road
  • Cost: Fee waived

For more information or to register for this event, please visit the HR course catalogue.

Travelling Health Fair

Travelling Health Fair

The Travelling Health Fair is a free mobile health clinic put on once a year for UBC staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows. It offers one-on-one health assessments and consultations throughout February. Come join us and let’s talk about you!

Who should attend: Everyone! Whether you are currently living with a chronic condition or want to learn about your risk factors, there is something for everyone at this fair. It is never too early to think about prevention.

Registration will open on February 3, 2020

  • Feb. 12 – Orchard commons, room 3052 (Point Grey)
  • Feb. 18 – Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, rooms 222 & 224 (Point Grey)
  • Feb. 19 – UBC Life Building, ARC classroom (Point Grey)
  • Feb. 20 – Neville Scarfe Building, rooms 200 (Point Grey)
  • Feb. 26 – Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, 1st floor lecture hall (VGH/DHCC)

All services are provided by pharmacists from the UBC Pharmacists Clinic and trained students from the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

For more information, visit:

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:

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.