An online platform that allows staff to share stories about a range of issues including mental health, wellbeing and diversity and inclusion is being pioneered at UWE Bristol.
The university is the first higher education institution in the UK to establish a dedicated hub in which users can share their lived experiences of a range of issues on video as well as viewing stories told by others. It will also direct them to relevant online resources and support services in their area.
The platform, called the Let’s Talk Now Hub, uses technology developed by Glasgow-based Frog Systems and is being introduced for staff at the university this month.
Users can search by topic from drop-down menus of issues relevant to them. For each topic they are directed to professionally filmed and edited videos of people who have experienced those issues, and to a list of contact organisations and agencies in their area who can offer help and support.
A back-end, analytics function will provide UWE Bristol with real-time, anonymised end-user information, allowing it to identify emerging issues of concern to staff and to make strategic management decisions.
UWE Bristol, which employs around 3000 staff across four faculties and a number of professional services, said it is launching the hub to help promote and support healthier learning, working, social environments and approaches that enhance staff health and wellbeing.
Jo Midgley, Registrar and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience, at UWE Bristol said: ‘‘The mental health and wellbeing of our staff and students is a strategic priority for UWE Bristol as we strive to create an environment which supports healthier learning and working for all.
‘‘The ‘Let’s Talk Now Hub’ is a welcome addition to our package of holistic support, providing staff with the opportunity to hear about other people’s lived experiences and helping to address particular staff wellbeing needs, such as the challenges of hybrid working during the pandemic. We look forward to rolling out the pilot scheme to our 3,000 staff and hearing their feedback on this exciting new platform.’’
Phil Worms, chief executive of Frog Systems said: “In recent months the nation has collectively found its voice through technology, with millions of people using video daily.
“Speaking up and out is essential in addressing a range of wellbeing issues for employees and students alike, and video engages in a way that the written word simply cannot.
“For those struggling with life’s challenges, it is vital to know that you are not alone, that help is available and that others who have experienced similar journeys have come through them.
“It’s so commendable that UWE Bristol is using its influence and reach in such a positive way to support its campus community.”
Image © UWE