MPs’ Staff Survey on Wellbeing

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All MPs’ staff should have received an email inviting them to complete the Wellness Working Group annual survey on wellbeing.

If you haven’t already completed this important survey, w4mp strongly encourages you to do so as soon as possible – the closing date is Friday 19 January 2024.

If you are a member of staff and have not received the invitation, please email mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk from your parliamentary network account and they will send you a link.

Third Annual WWG Survey of Staff Working for MPs

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The Wellness Working Group is excited to once again share with you the now Annual WWG Survey of Staff working for Members of Parliament.

You may remember, the Wellness Working Group undertakes this an anonymous survey of MPs staff to better understand the pressures and effects that our jobs have on our wellbeing. We are delighted that Dr. Weinberg from Salford University has agreed to run the survey again for us this year . The survey is completely anonymous and a chance to be able to help us enact change and to help us all obtain better work places and practices. It should only take about 10 minutes to complete.

Please access the survey from the WWG Homepage here: https://hopuk.sharepoint.com/sites/hct-wellbeinghub

You must be logged into the Parliamentary network in order to be able to access it.

Are you OK?

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Are you OK? How are you coping? Do you need to talk to someone?

An MP’s office can be a busy and stressful environment at the best of times, and over the past few weeks, staff have been under a lot of extra pressure.

The work we do can put a strain on our mental health and wellbeing, and we can often feel isolated. If you are finding it difficult to cope, or just need someone to talk to, or somewhere to offload, please remember that help is available.

The Wellness Working Group offers lots of useful information advice and you can access their hub here: https://hopuk.sharepoint.com/sites/hct-wellbeinghub

Please ring the helpline and talk to someone. It’s what it’s there for.

Health Assured provides an independent support service to MPs’ staff, it is completely confidential and can be accessed 24/7 by phone, online portal and app. You can access support for any issue you are struggling with, it doesn’t have to be work related. Look here for further information, their helpline number and a link to access the service: https://hopuk.sharepoint.com/sites/hct-wellbeinghub/SitePages/What-suport-is-there-.aspx

British Liver Trust

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A Wellness Working Group event

Time: 11:00 – 12:00
Date: Monday 16 October 2023
Location: Online

Please join us to hear the British Liver Trust talk about the work they do, the huge rise in liver disease and liver cancer and the crisis in access to services. We will also learn about the risk factors of liver disease for ourselves, our family and our constituents.

The British Liver trust provide vital advice to help people improve their liver health. They provide the public and patients with up to date information and support, including a free nurse-led helpline and online community, as well as delivering awareness campaigns such as the Love Your Liver Campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of the major risk factors that can cause liver damage and encourage those who are at risk to get tested. It includes:

  • a free online screener that assesses whether you are at risk of liver disease and provides information on what to do if you are
  • a year round awareness campaign with the media and through promotional displays
  • Love Your Liver community screening events held in association with local liver clinicians around the UK

Estelle, Tom & Lisa

The Wellness Working Group

rsvp to mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk

Wellness Working Group August Blog Post

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The Wellness Working Group (WWG) will be publishing a monthly blog, written by Committee Member, Lisa Young, who not only works for an MP but is a trained counsellor. They hope that by publishing this blog, you might find some comfort as well as practical tips to help you through a difficult situation.

You can find the blog on the parliamentary intranet here: https://hopuk.sharepoint.com/sites/hct-wellbeinghub/SitePages/WWG-Blog.aspx

The August 2023 post relates to receiving calls from people who are struggling to cope, and contains a link to a useful template to guide you through such a call.

Caseworker Discussion Q&A: Update from the Members’ Services Team

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Time: 14:00
Date: Thursday 17 August 2023
Location: Online via Teams

Update from the Members’ Services Team, including:

  • Training – Tom Mitchell, Training & Learning Facilitator, will update the group on the Training Ambassador Network, new starter learning pathways, as well as seeking your ideas and feedback for new training courses.
  • Engagement – Lydia Smith, Engagement Manager, will provide an overview of the engagement programme for the remainder of 2023, including an update on the dissolution roadshow events.
  • Wellbeing – Tanya Harris, Health and Wellbeing Manager, will provide an update about the Employee Assistance Programme – Health Assured.

It is nearly one year since the Casework Discussion Forum launched. We would like to use this session to gather your feedback about the Forum, suggestions on how it can be improved, and ideas for what topics you would like to see covered in 2024.

Virtual Talk: Andy’s Man Club

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The Wellness Working Group‘s next guest speaker will be Oli Vikse from Andy’s Man Club.

Time: 11:00 – 12:00
Date: Thursday 29 June 2023
Location: Online via Teams

Oli Vikse – Project Development Champion, Andy Man Club

Please join us to hear Oli talk about ANDY’S MAN CLUB

Andy’s Man Club has over 120 free support groups nationwide, running every Monday from 7PM except bank holidays. In these groups, men can open up about the storms affecting their lives in a safe, judgement-free and non-clinical environment. The clubs are designed to be free of pressure, there is no obligation for men to speak, they can simply listen if they wish. With over 2800 men using the sessions every week, and an army of 900+ volunteers on board, the movement is continuing to grow week-by-week. Andy’s Man Club firmly believe in the power of talking and that #ItsOkayToTalk.

For love nor money? Protect yourself and others from economic abuse

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Health and Wellbeing event

Rachael Partleton is a campaigner, advocate, and survivor of economic abuse. You will discover: the subtle warning signs of economic abuse and it’s devastating impact; the differences between purely financial compared with economic abuse; what we can do to protect ourselves, and how to help others and learn how to guard your finances for the long term.

Time: 10:30 – 11:30
Date: Tuesday 27 June 2023
Location: Online via Teams
Booking: https://parliament.learningpool.com/mod/facetoface/view.php?id=5776

Improving the management and wellbeing of political staffers:insights from Prime Minister’s Advisers in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

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A Wellness Working Group online event.

Presenter: Dr Jennifer Lees-Marshment University of Auckland, New Zealand
Time: 11:00 – 12:00
Date: Thursday 8 June 2023
Location: Online via Teams

This presentation will present suggestions for how to improve the management and wellbeing of political staffers, drawing on research conducted in 2022-23 through interviews with political practitioners, including 66 advisers for Prime Ministers Scott Morrison, Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern.

It will discuss best practice recommendations made by experienced staffers who have worked in Prime Ministerial offices in Australia, Canada, the UK and New Zealand. These include clearer orientation, more relevant and ongoing training, as well as training of those involved in managing, effective and positive feedback to create and office culture, and the use of tools to constrain workloads, maintain motivation and support wellbeing.

This will be of interest to existing staffers, prospective special advisers, and anyone who may aspire to, or find themselves in the position of managing other staffers/colleagues.

To receive an invitation to the event, please email mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk

Managing Workplace Stress for MPs Staff – new training course

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A brand new training course from the Members’ Services Team.

The first presentation will be on Tuesday 13 June 2023.

For further information and booking, please visit https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=2059 (parliamentary network account required)

Course Overview

  • Learn how to recognize the symptoms and triggers of stress in the workplace. 
  • Learning coping strategies and self-care techniques for dealing with stress. 
  • Learn how to support co-workers who are under stress. 
  • Learn techniques to manage pressure and improve resilience to stress. 
  • Learn how to set boundaries in the workplace. (E.g. how to communicate when your workload is too high to take anything else on, how to communicate you need a break after a stressful interaction) 
  • Learn how to access available support services.