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Mental Health First Aiders

In 2020 the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) established a partnership with Mental Health First Aid England to provide awareness briefing sessions and develop a Mental Health Ally programme for NDM staff.  Our aim is to raise awareness of Mental Health, reduce stigma and improve peer support for staff in NDM. Since 2021 we have established a network of 22 trained Mental Health Allies, who can act as an initial point of contact for staff experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress, can provide support and signpost to appropriate help if required. In 2020 we launched a Health and Wellbeing website page, pulling together resources, guidance and information from across the University to support staff and students.

Three Mental Health Awareness sessions have run since Oct 2020 (total of 75 attendees).  Two more awareness sessions planned for June 2022

Read more on the Mental Health Allies webpage

"I left the course feeling so much more confident in recognising the signs of somebody struggling and also in knowing how to help."

"It was a good experience, learnt new things and it was good to hear the other people views on the mental health. Thank you for the opportunity."

An image of a cartoon head in profile with a garden in the mind with the quote "I used my training more than once and as well as helping others, it made me feel good that I’d been able to have a positive impact"

Bullying and Harassment

In 2019 NDM established a sub-group from the Athena Swan SAT to specifically tackle bullying and harassment. A number of targeted actions took place as a result.

Action starts at induction, where several courses are mandatory for new starters, including Challenging Behaviour, Equality and Diversity training, Unconscious Bias training, and Managing People for new line managers.

NDM run regular awareness campaigns, and have implemented targeted training. Data from the 2018 survey suggested that peer-to-peer conflict may be an issue, and so in response, specific training was developed, and a number of sessions ran throughout 2021 on Understanding and Dealing with workplace bullying and harassment: guidance for managers. We also ran Responsible Bystander training throughout 2021.

To support our staff we expanded our network of NDM Harassment Advisors from 18 to 23 during 2019. We are working with AdvanceHE during 2022 on an Inclusive Leadership Project, with a view to support, develop and enhance inclusive and transparent approaches to leadership within the Department.

Read more on their Harassment and bullying webpages

"I thought the training was a good pace and there was good interaction between the trainer and the attendees and there was opportunity for us to reflect on our behaviours and experience."

"A very useful course, not dry, the content was relatable and I will be able to apply it in my day to day work/people management."

"I would highly recommend this course, I certainly think it should be delivered to more NDM members."

2019 Equity in Academia symposium

The Nuffield Department of Medicine, in partnership with Oxford Tropical Network, hosted the 2019 Equity in Academia symposium on 12th September 2019 in Oxford, which was attended by over 100 international speakers and delegates, representing Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland, UK, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Vietnam. The one-day meeting brought together a diverse and international audience, as well as experts working in health sciences to discuss some of the barriers to under-represented groups and to recognise current challenges for equity and diversity, with a focus on three central themes: unconscious bias, promotion of under-represented groups in academia, and barriers in academic publishing. The event provided opportunities for reflection, networking and personal development, as well as generated insights into shared challenges and new ideas for future action steps. Our sessions embraced dialogue to create solutions, networks, and an environment in which academic equity can be improved. Brilliant art was provided by Drawnalism’s Alex Hughes, capturing the mood and themes throughout the day. A paper was developed and published as a result of the symposium:

Wedekind L, Noé A, Mokaya J et al. Equity for excellence in academic institutions: a manifesto for change [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. Wellcome Open Res 2021, 6:142 ( PMID: 34381874

A hand drawn image of three people of differing heights are on boxes to raise them to the same level picking apples on a tree, alongside the quote: Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, belonging is having that voice be heard: Diversity is just the first step to including all in academia


Click here to read about EDI activity in one of our other 16 departments:

MSD Goes Silver: 10 Years of Athena Swan