Wellbeing Champions, Officers and Directors

In January 2020 the Principal's Office approved the University Mental Health Strategy. One of the provisions within the Strategy was the establishment of designated 'Wellbeing Officers' within each School and Unit.

The development and implementation of this role has been taken forward by the Mental Health Taskforce.

In Academic Schools the role title is either Wellbeing Director or Wellbeing Officer. In Professional Services Units the role is referred to as Wellbeing Champion. The purpose of the roles, however, is the same, this reflects the difference in context and scope of the roles in Schools and Units.

The sections below provide further information about Wellbeing Officers/Directors/Champions in Schools and Units.

What is wellbeing?

Wellbeing can be defined as the degree to which an individual feels that different aspects of their current life experience - feeling good and functioning well - are positive. This impression is supported by positive activities, experiences or impressions at emotional, rational, spiritual/philosophical, physical, relational and societal levels.*

* This is derived from the University's approved definition of wellbeing included in the Review of Wellbeing at the University of St Andrews conducted by Prof. Paul Hibbert.

What are Wellbeing Officers?

Every School of Unit has - or will have - a designated Wellbeing Officer (or Director/Champion). The emphasis iof the role in all cases is on:

  • communicating and signposting available resources, services and activities to colleagues
  • communicating feedback on existing service provision and information on local needs to their School/Unit management teams and to University leadership (through the relevant forums/mechanisms)
  • organising/coordinating local initiatives and local participation in wider initiatives

The role is not intended to act as a health/wellbeing practitioner or to tackle individual health/wellbeing issues.

Who is your wellbeing officer?

To see details of Wellbeing Officers/Directors/Champions visit the linked pages for Academic School or Professional Services. Here you will find the relevant, up to date list of Wellbeing Officers/Directors or Wellbeing Champions, along with contact details.

Academic Schools

Wellbeing Officer or Directors have now been appointed in the majority of Academic Schools.

You can find a complete list of Wellbeing Officers/Directors on the Academic Schools page.

While sharing the same purpose as the role in Professional Services, the scope of the role in Schools includes both staff and students. 

Wellbeing Officers/Directors in Academic School a part of a network which is coordinated by Dr Maggie Ellis MBE. This network provides opportunities to share good practice across academic Schools, to celebrate successes, to address common issues and to provide feedback  to the Mental health Taskforce and other relevant groups. The Wellbeing Officer network also provides peer support and CPD opportunities to Wellbeing Officers.

Professional Services

For Professional Services the role will be known as 'Wellbeing Champion' to reflect the positive and proactive nature of the role in promoting wellbeing and generating local engagement with wellbeing activities.

The role is voluntary and there may be more than one person sharing the role within one Unit (for larger Units), or a Wellbeing Champion may be shared between more than one Unit (for smaller Units).

Wellbeing Champions for Professional Services will form part of network. The network will meet on a bi-monthly basis. Meetings will alternate between two different formats:

Meeting 1: practice-sharing, peer support and CPD. Attendance is Wellbeing Champions only with representation from the Academic Schools network.

Meeting 2: Healthy working lIve Award, and planning the University wellbeing campaign calendar. Attendance includes Wellbeing Champions, representatives from all wellbeing-related University service providers and representatives from the Mental Health Task Force. 

The Wellbeing Champion network is coordinated by Jos Finer, director of OSDS.

For more information about Wellbeing Champions in Professional Services go to the dedicated Wellbeing Champions webpage.

Becoming a wellbeing officer

Academic Schools

Most Academic Schools now have a Wellbeing Officer/Director in place. If you are intersted in the role  in the first instance talk to your head of School or the Coordinator of the Academic School Wellbeing Officer network, Prof. Paul Hibbert.

Professional Services

Wellbeing Champions for Professional Services are currently being recruited. Visit the Professional Services page for full information including a Wellbeing Champion vacancy advert, the role profile, guidelines on implementing the role, details of training and support, and information about the nomination/recruitment process.

Service Units may have more than one designated Wellbeing Champion sharing the role, or in the case of smaller Units the role may be shared across more than one Unit. 

Nominations must be approved by the Service Director and should be sent to: wellbeingforstaff@st-andrews.ac.uk by 30 July 2021.