When people feel stressed, too much information is overwhelming
There's a lot of good support on the university website in Connections Matter, people who aren’t too stressed can browse through this (separate tab on this site)
People who are stressed need focused support
Initial questions: This section is designed to help you to filter out people who are genuinely coping at the moment using a ‘traffic light’ system
How are you coping with all the changes?
How is your mood?
Is this a big change from before the lock-down?
What are you finding is causing you the most stress?
If the person is unsure whether what they are experiencing is stress, see document pages 1-3
Mood is low; this is a significant change = ask follow up questions
Mood is low; similar to before lock-down = ask follow up questions, and check previous support mechanisms used
Mood is okay = congratulate on the transition to new ways of living. Prompt to contact you for support if things change.
General tips on managing stress – see document pages 4+5
Follow up questions: grouped according to themes
Do you have a routine in place at home?
Look for a balance of:
- Social activities or hobbies
If poor balance of activities - see document page 6
If stuck for ideas on what to do in spare time - see document page 7
Do you have space in your home to work comfortably?
- Physical challenges
- Social challenges (interruptions etc.)
Physical challenges: Refer to the university link on home working if appropriate:
‘If a lack of IT equipment (e.g. keyboard and mouse to enable comfortable screen position) is causing pain, numbness etc. or a lack of equipment is limiting staff's ability to work effectively, peripherals such as keyboards, mice, headsets etc. can be ordered for delivery to staff's homes"
Discuss options they’ve already tried and suggest alternatives :
- Designating rooms new functions at particular times of day (e.g kitchen is the office from 10-12)
- Timetabling optimum work spaces / use of equipment with other members of the home if needed for fairness
- Working in car for calls
- Working in garden (if available).
How are you sleeping?
- Sleeping more than usual
- Sleeping less than usual
- Difficulties getting off to sleep
What are your key worries?
- Own health?
Prioritising worries – see document pages 8+9
Challenging worrying thoughts – see document pages 10+11
Ending the discussion
- Does the person need to be sign posted to more formal counselling?
- Do they have anything positive planned for later in the day?
Links to the student health and well-being site (useful resources for everyone, staff included)
Email for counselling appointments at Coventry University:
This guide was written by Dr Annette Roebuck. This guide is to be used in conjunction with the document that is written specifically for COVID worry and anxiety, link given above. If you think this guide needs improving, please email Annette directly on: Annette.firstname.lastname@example.org