Human Resources

Mini Mental Health MOT

Have you been feeling low in mood or panicky about things in the last few weeks or months?
Are you struggling to keep going through the day without feeling tearful or worrying about things that may happen in the future? You may be finding it hard to carry on at work or even just get motivated to get up in the morning.

Mental health problems affect one in four people and symptoms can come on so gradually that you may not have noticed the signs. If you recognise some of these symptoms and are concerned, it may help to talk to someone about your feelings:

  • Changes in your appetite
  • Thinking negative thoughts
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Not enjoying life as much as usual
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Perceiving things differently to others

To make a confidential 30-minute appointment with an Occupational Health Nurse, please ring extension 3187. After seeing you, the Nurse will be able to advise whether it would be helpful to access some further form of therapy or see your GP if medication may be indicated or need to be reviewed. They will also be able to discuss with you the poor lifestyle choices that can influence your mental health such as overeating and the positive lifestyle choices that we could all make more of.

‘Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug…and exercise is the most potent yet underutilised antidepressant.’
Bill Phillips, Personal Fitness Trainer

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your symptoms and need more urgent support please contact the University Employee Assistance Programme on 0845 1116 387 (free from a UK landline) to talk to a trained counsellor, The Samaritans Freephone 116 123 (UK), or Mind.

Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - SilverCloud

CBT is a talking therapy that can help you to manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.  It's most commonly used to treat anxiety, stress and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.  This is available online for University staff and students;

If you are unsure about accessing this, there are questionnaires in the intial stages which will help ascertain which support, if any, may be required.  You can then select to work through those modules which may be helpful.

How to be mentally healthy at work is a booklet written by Mind, the mental health charity, and may be a useful resource.

Mindful Employer

Mindful Employer

The University has chosen to sign up to the Mindful Employer Charter, an initiative which is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health at work and providing support for businesses in recruiting and retaining staff. This demonstrates the University of Portsmouth's commitment to Dignity, Diversity and Equality by ensuring that as an institution it is open and accessible to all, and values its staff and students for what they bring as individuals.

Mindful Employer have produced two documents, one for staff and the other for line managers on dealing positively with mental health in the workplace.

Working with Anxiety:

Mindful Employer has produced a film, Working with Anxiety which explores how anxiety affects the ability to work and carry out other day to day activities, and highlights key ways to aid recovery. The film considers how it feels to experience generalised anxiety, panic attacks, OCD and PTSD and some practical methods through which to aid and achieve recovery.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

NHS support for mental health conditions is available through IAPT.  In Portsmouth, this service is called Talking Change and in the rest of Hampshire, it is called iTalk. Similar services are available throughout the rest of the UK.  Please access these through your local IAPT webpages.

Referral is either directly to the organisation or your GP can give you further information.  Support is available for counselling, health anxiety support groups, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorders etc.

 Advice and information on stress is available in the University Learning and Development Toolkit

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Advice and information is available on stress on the EAP webpages.

Actions to take if you are concerned about someone who says they feel suicidal

 1.  If a member of staff makes you aware that they are having suicidal intentions or thoughts, please refer immediately to Occupational Health.

2.  If you believe that the person means to harm themselves imminently and the person has the means to do this i.e. pills, a sharp implement, threatening to jump off a tall building or similar, the police need to be contacted as they are the only ones who can physically remove the person to a place of safety.

3.  Encourage the person to seek help and to talk to someone they trust such as a good friend, their GP, a counsellor or a family member.

4.  If the person is willing to talk to you, listen closely but try not to offer any advice.  Do not offer your opinion and try not to interrupt.  Having your support at this critical time in their life can sometimes be enough to help them.


Other useful numbers and websites:

 The Samaritans (local branch) Freephone: 116 123 or Local rate charge:  02392 69 13 13

296 London Road, North End, Portsmouth, PO2 9JN


NHS Direct - Telephone 111 - they can offer advice and onward referral to mental health professionals and crisis intervention teams


HOPELineUK - is a confidential advice and support service for young people under the age of 35 who may be having thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned a young person may be having thoughts of suicide.

Telephone:  0800 068 41 41

Lines are open 10am-10pm on weekdays

2pm-10pm on weekends 

2pm-5pm on Bank Holidays


Suicide Prevention toolkit from Public Health England and Business in the Community

Business in the Community has partnered with Public Health England to produce an online interconnected suite of toolkits to help every organisation support the mental and physical health and wellbeing of its employees.

These materials are freely available and relevant to all employers, irrespective of your size, sector or familiarity with the subject. They are designed to help employers take positive actions to build a culture that champions good mental and physical health and provide a greater understanding of how to help those who need more support. For larger organisations, the toolkits are also useful resources to share with businesses in your supply chain and across your network.

Every organisation has an opportunity to support and develop a healthy workforce and it doesn’t need to be complicated – these toolkits will help you to understand and act, step by step. They address topics often shied away from in the workplace, and can provide the first step for an employer to encourage an open, healthy and supportive workplace.


Help is at hand - support after someone may have died by suicide

E-Learning package for staff to support students who may have mental health issues

Posted: Thu, 25 May 2017 12:49:00 BST