Self-care in Student Services: looking after yourself and your teams
We all know that working in Student Services can be challenging at the best of times, with stressful situations to manage and workloads that can often feel overwhelming. The changing contexts brought about by the pandemic have only piled on the pressure. With our focus on the wellbeing and welfare of students, it’s easy to downplay or neglect our own self-care. It’s hard to support ourselves when trying to support others – but we’ve got to walk the walk as well as talk the talk! This practical workshop for Student Services leaders in higher education provides ideas, techniques and perspectives to help you support your own mental health and wellbeing at work, as well as that of your colleagues.
AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:
Join us to explore how you can support yourself and your colleagues when managing stressful situations directly (handling difficult people or traumatic situations, pressure to perform or deliver, disrupted work-life balance) and also when encountering other people's stress and distress. Take part in activities designed to develop your approach to self-care, and learn ways to ensure that your teams are as well considered and supported as your students. Discover for yourself how creativity can enhance your wellbeing, and share your experiences and ideas with peers in a supportive, positive space.
Location, time and price
This event takes place online on Wednesday 19 May 2021 from 09:30 to 13:30 (BST).
Here are the delegate prices:
- AMOSSHE named member - £59 (log in to access this rate)
- Non-member (other employees of an AMOSSHE member organisation, individuals, not-for-profit and corporate organisations, higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £99
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Programme and speakers
This event features practical, interactive workshops with networking discussion. Come prepared to get involved!
||Welcome and context
Fay Sherrington (AMOSSHE Vice Chair and Director of Student Services, Edge Hill University) and Claire Slater (Director of Student Life and Wellbeing, University of Bristol) outline the context for the event.
How are you?
This is an opportunity to take stock of your current state of mind with regard to your work, your colleagues, your students and your own wellbeing. Share your views anonymously to get a sense of how your situations compare with your peers.
||Coping and connecting (with self) during the pandemic: the importance of looking after yourself when supporting others
The current pandemic and life events have changed the way in which we work and support students. This includes working from our own personal spaces, often in our own homes. Holding personal, sensitive and challenging conversations in these spaces can feel intrusive and isolating at the best of times, but it’s been even harder during the last year. Our usual support structures are often absent, such as a colleague at the next desk, or a walk to and from work – all of which will have had some impact on our own wellbeing. This workshop, led by Bernie Ryan (Director of Training, LimeCulture) invites you to consider the significant impact that these issues have had personally and professionally, and look to begin to restore some sense of wellbeing, including practical considerations and suggestions.
||Creative wellbeing exercise
Paula Winzar (Outreach and Partnerships Associate) and Kate McBarron (Lead Tutor) from WriteWell introduce you to a creative online learning community that aims to boost mental health, resilience and happiness through creative writing. Find out how creative writing might be useful for colleagues and students, and then take part in a quick creative warmup to help foster your positivity, lower your stress and leave you feeling refreshed.
||Support through change: the importance of a person-centred approach when redesigning our services and structures
This active workshop details the recent approach taken by colleagues at Staffordshire University as they redesigned Student and Academic Services. Redesigning services can at times feel like a mechanistic, impersonal experience for staff, so it's important to consider and promote staff wellbeing. Ian Munton (Director of Library and Student Services) and Paula Dalziel (Head of Student Support, Wellbeing & Inclusion) outline the thinking behind their approach as they centre in on the importance of authenticity, care, support and engagement with people throughout and beyond the process. Take part in open discussion and sharing of experiences as a means of developing ideas and tools to take away and use whether you're leading, supporting or experiencing change.
||Challenges and ideas discussion
This session is a structured discussion about the challenges you’ve faced that impact your wellbeing, and good ideas you’ve had for supporting yourself and others. Review how you felt at the start of the day, share your thoughts with others and learn from your peers in a supportive, positive space.
||Building resilience through creativity
In this practical workshop Kate McBarron (Lead Tutor) and Paula Winzar (Outreach and Partnerships Associate) from WriteWell explore how to use writing as a tool to boost your resilience levels. Take part in the first stages of a writing activity that examines the topic of resilience and offers you a range of tools that you can use in your daily life. Then find out how to continue the exercise in your own time, discover more resources, and consider how to use creative writing to enhance wellbeing for your colleagues and students.
Photo by Olga Mironova on Pexels