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 be members of a Wellbeing Champion Network. This network is chaired by Ruth Unsworth, Head of Mediation and Wellbeing. The network meets on a regular basis to share practice, offer and receive peer support, and undertake opportunities for professional development. Wellbeing Champions also have the opportunity to contribute to the planning of the University’s annual wellbeing campaign calendar.

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

Becoming a wellbeing officer

Academic Schools

Wellbeing Officers and Directors in school are nominated by Heads of School. Any and all changes to role holders must be reported to the Chair of the Wellbeing Officer Network, Dr Maggie Ellis MBE, via email at mpe2@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Professional Services

Wellbeing Champions for Professional Services are nominated by Directors of the unit. Units may nominate more than one individual to share the role of Wellbeing Champion for the unit. 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.

Any and all changes to role holders must be reported to the Chair of the Wellbeing Champion Network, Ruth Unsworth, via email at wellbeingforstaff@st-andrews.ac.uk.