Across the whole spectrum of work at the University people can experience stress, anxiety, fear, lack of confidence, and other problems. Fortunately these are things that can be worked on, and the University of Manchester offers several anonymous and strictly confidential services for these such as the counselling service, mediation, and support provided by harassment advisors. There is no need to suffer in silence.

The counselling service can be contacted no matter how small or big a problem seems to be. Problems might be work-related, but they don’t have to be. For example, problems in a relationship can also be discussed. The counselling service consists of qualified counsellors, including a visiting psychiatrist, and can offer guidance sessions. The first step to take, no matter what the problem might be, is to phone the counselling service or to walk in and arrange an appointment at the reception. You can also attend courses and/or use techniques to help with, amongst others, feelings of anxiety. For instance, focusing on patterns of stress and anxiety emerging for a longer time can be helped with mindfulness meditation and free drop-in sessions are part of the Service’s ongoing workshop programme. During term these sessions are twice a week (Wednesdays and Thursdays) and out of term the counselling service tries to continue the Thursday sessions from 1-2 pm at the Wellbeing Room in the Dover St Building. However, if you don’t want to contact someone personally or would like additional help, the counselling service website offers many self-help resources including a confidential online self-help programme called Beingwell (http://www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/counselling/self-help/).

If there is a work-related dispute that needs help from a third party, a mediation process can be started. Mediation can help resolve a disagreement or conflict with a colleague in the workplace. It examines the relationship and is confidential: no records are kept at all. The mediation process is voluntary and can be stopped at any time without giving a reason.

There are also harassment advisors that can give confidential support related to harassment, discrimination and bullying.

If you are not sure what service would be best, you can start by contacting HR, which is also confidential, and they can refer people through. Also, every afore-mentioned service will be able to advise you through to other services if those would suit your problem better.

Special thanks to Omar Sattaur and Karen Scoresby.

Useful contacts:

The Counselling Service

Tel: 0161 275 2864 Email: counselling.service@manchester.ac.uk

Website: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/counselling For sources of self-help see the left-hand column.

Mediation co-ordinator

Tel: 0161 306 5874 E-mail: mediation@manchester.ac.uk

http://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/services/equality-and-diversity/mediation/

Harassment advisors

http://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/services/equality-and-diversity/policies-and-guidance/dignity-at-work-and-study/harassment-advisors/

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