Looking after you - health

It is important to remember that wellbeing is not synonymous with mental health, although the latter is an important factor. Wellbeing is in fact a state of contentment influenced by all aspects of your life. In this section we direct you to information and resources around mental and physical health and physical safety.  


Information about mental health​

To explore mental health and mental health problems, resources and external support available please visit one of the following:​

How to maintain good mental health​

The NHS and MIND UK provide evidence-based recommendations to maintain good mental health: ​

Who can I go to for help?

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, go to the mental health crisis support pages of this website. 

If you are concerned about your mental health, do seek help early from:​

  • Your GP​

  • Friends, family, carers and neighbours​

  • The University Occupational Health Service. If you are concerned that work is affecting your mental health or that a mental health problem is affecting your ability to do your job, you can arrange for a referral to the Occupational Health Service for advice and guidance. The Occupational Health Department also offers guidance on stress and coping with traumatic events

  • A trained therapist: University staff have access to qualified counsellors via Health Assured. Alternatively, NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies offers free NHS talking therapies to all adults in Oxfordshire bypassing the need for a Doctor’s appointment.​

  • Peer support: Togetherall  is an online peer-to-peer support community offering discussions mediated by mental health professionals, as well as self-learning courses and resources. Anyone with a University email address can register with Togetherall (select "I'm from a University or College"). Togetherall is free and available 24/7 to students and staff.​

  • Mental Health support services: these include NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies, the Access to Work Mental Health Support Services by Maximus and Able Futures. For more information on these services, see our 'Services' page.

  • Charity and third sector organisations: Local charities include Restore and Oxfordshire Mind which runs the Safe Haven, a safe space open 365 days a year for you to access and talk through your problems. ANDYSMANCLUB is a charity specifically aimed at eliminating the stigma surrounding men's mental health and creating a judgment-free, confidential space where men can be open about the storms in their lives. Shout provides a confidential 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. 

  • If you live outside of Oxfordshire: For other support local to you, search your location on the Hub of Hope.

  • Workplace support: Your manager is there to listen to your problems and signpost you to the support you need. If you cannot talk to your manager, we recommend you contact your local HR contact. ​


For trusted information on any health condition, please visit the NHS website.​

The Occupational Health Service offers advice and guidance on musculoskeletal health, work-related injuries and pregnancy.

How can I improve my physical health?

The NHS Better Health website provides guidance on the four best ways for you to improve your health:​

  • Lose weight​
  • Get Active​
  • Quit smoking​
  • Drink Less​

​The NHS Live Well website also gives advice on healthy eating and healthy sleeping.​

Physical Fitness

Here are some ideas of resources you can use to improve your physical fitness in order to improve your physical health as a whole:​

If you are living with an illness or disability, here are some great resources for you to use to boost your physical fitness and health:

Ageing Well​

Here is a list of resources related to ageing and preparing for retirement:​

For more information on pensions, visit the Financial Wellbeing section of this website.​

Resources available to University employees​

As University employees, you have access to the following resources: ​​

  • Eduhealth offer special private medical insurance rates for university staff and their families.​

  • For a long-term illness or a condition that may affect your work please contact the Occupational Health Service. ​

Illness and Disability​

I’m ill, what do I do?​

If you are ill, you should notify your line manager on the first day of sickness. Further information can be found on the HR Support webpages. ​

​For long term sickness or a condition that may affect your work, you may be referred or refer yourself to the Occupational Health Service via their referral service

​Please contact the Staff Disability Advisor if you need to discuss any issues around disability or a long-term health condition at staffdisability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

How much sick pay will I get?

Information related to staff sickness and rates of pay can be found in the staff handbooks:

​If a member of staff's health deteriorates so that they are permanently unable to do their job, and they are a member of a relevant pension scheme, they may apply for early retirement on the grounds of ill-health.​ More information can be found here:

If you are concerned about your finances in the event of illness, please visit the financial wellbeing pages of this website.

My illness if affecting my mental health.

If you are living with a long term physical health condition you are up to three times more likely to experience anxiety and/or depression associated with this. Please refer to the mental health support services available to you. In particular NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies offers psychological therapies to Oxfordshire residents that are known to be effective for many people with long term physical health conditions. 

I'm living with a disability​.

The University offers multiple options for support to people living with a disability. The EDU provide more information on their pages for disabled staff.

​For further resources and information, please access the governement information page for disabled people

​For more support around Neurodiversity, please visit the social growth section of these online resources.

​The Staff Disability Advisor is here to support disabled staff at the University and can be contacted at staffdisability@admin.ox.ac.uk.​

How to raise concerns​

If you are concerned about your physical safety at work, you should always try and discuss this with your supervisor or line manager first.  ​

​Your head of department and supervisors are responsible for your safety.  Management and supervisor responsibilities are set out in various general policy statements.

Departmental information​

Your departments will usually have their own information on health and safety. This might take different forms e.g. local intranet sites, handbooks, local procedures, safety noticeboards.  ​

​Ask your supervisor, administrator or departmental safety officer for local information.​

Departmental Safety Officers (DSO)​

Every department is expected to appoint a departmental safety officer.  Ask your administrator if you are unsure who this is within your department. ​

​The DSO’s role is outlined on the Safety Office pages, but this page explains how you should get safety advice or support including from area and divisional safety officers.

The University Safety Office​

The Safety Office aims to support high standards of health and safety across the university. It provides advice and guidance to staff, students, contractors and visitors whether they are based in Oxford or elsewhere. More information can be found on their webpage.​

​The Safety Office provides a library of policy statements on different hazards.

Occupational Health​

Occupational Health is a specialist branch of medicine that focuses on the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, offering a range of services to the University, its employees and eligible students. ​

Further information can be found on the Occupational Health Service webpages

Trade Unions

Each department should have a local departmental safety advisory committee (DSAC).  DSACs fulfil the legal duty for heads of departments to consult with both the recognised trade union safety representatives and with non-trade union representatives on local safety matters. ​

​Some DSACs have local trade union safety reps who can advise regardless of whether the individual is a trade union member or not.  Details of the safety representatives’ roles are available here.​


The EveryDaySafe programme aims to achieve an action-oriented safety culture, which means all our staff taking the right action to keep themselves and others safe. ​

​The programme will focus on improving leadership, engagement, competency, networking, reporting and systems. ​

​Importantly, we want all staff to be directly involved in creating the changes needed to improve our safety culture.​

​For more information, please contact the team at everydaysafe@admin.ox.ac.uk.​

External resources

The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) website is full of useful information: HSE: Information about health and safety at work.

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Contact us


Meet the team

Frances Parkes – Wellbeing Programme Manager