An online information platform for university staff health and wellbeing, developed by Glasgow-based tech start-up Frog Systems, is being pioneered at an English university.
The University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol is the first higher education institution in the UK to establish a dedicated hub in which users can share their 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 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 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 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.’’
“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.”