UCL Occupational Health Service: support over the festive season

6 December 2012

The Christmas holiday period is traditionally a time for celebration. However, the festive season often brings many pressures and detrimental health effects, from increased stress, family conflicts and alcohol misuse to heightened loneliness; all of which can increase mental health difficulties and even in some cases lead to domestic violence.

Money worries can also add to a stressful Christmas making it increasingly difficult for goal setting in the New Year, which is waiting just around the corner.

UCL provides staff with an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) that can help with achieving personal goals, assist with personal development and provide information about referrals to self-help groups, as well as providing practical and emotional support including short-term counselling. The service is available during the holiday period, 24 hours a day, every day (including Christmas day). It is confidential, so no one need know that you have contacted it. Call 0800 243 458 or visit your employee assistance programme (Username: UCL Password: employee).

Remember, the ‘Stress-Free Festive Season’ and ‘Goal Setting’ posters are available to display in your department to raise awareness of EAP availability.

Some helpful tips to get you through …

Keep calm at Christmas - avoid family arguments and share the workload.

Prevent Christmas injuries - stress, tiredness and alcohol can create unexpected hazards in the home so beware!

Healthy Christmas - reduce the calories without sacrificing the taste

Useful resources

Feel alone and need somebody to talk to http://www.samaritans.org/talk_to_someone.aspx

Going through divorce/separation contact ‘Relate’ for free online advice-http://www.relate.org.uk/home/index.html

Support on lesbian, gay, bisexual relationships: www.pacehealth.org.uk

Bereavement support - http://www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk/

Domestic Violence – 24 hour helpline. Freephone 0808 2000 247- http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/