The last year has presented us with many challenges - both as individuals in our personal lives, and also as employees working for Scotland's largest local authority.
Whilst we have all been on a different journey, and experienced different emotions along the way, there has been a collective understanding of the importance of compassion and the need to be there to support one another during difficult times.
The pandemic put a spotlight onto just how important the health and wellbeing of our workforce is. Our next Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2021 to 2024 [994kb] has now been developed and you are at the very core of its creation. It will focus on establishing a positive and healthy working environment where you can feel engaged and supported in key areas of interest to you.
It will be driven at a local level, listening to the needs and wants of our diverse workforce and put the right measures in place to deliver key actions to support you. We are committed to making sure that everyone can access our support arrangements over the next three years and I hope that everyone will embrace local plans and take part in activities of interest to them.
This detailed handbook brings together a wide range of recommended internal and external health and wellbeing information, guidance and support - all in the one place for ease of reference.
It contains quick links to all the relevant resources that can be accessed online - broken down into key topics and themes. For example:
Some of the links are to resources that might be held on Connect - if you do not have access to our intranet please speak to your manager for a copy of the required material.
This comprehensive guide brings together free health and wellbeing resources that can be downloaded, printed or ordered in hard copy on various key health and wellbeing themes.
Managers should use the Resource Guide to select and source key health and wellbeing resources for distribution in and around your workspace - such as posters, leaflets and pocket cards/ booklets.
Please print or order hard copies to display in communal areas such as staff rooms, canteens, reception areas and notice boards so they are easily accessible to all members of your team.
We can all have good days and bad days.
Sometimes mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, bereavement, sleep problems or lack of confidence can affect our time at work and we need some support to help us feel better and to have more good days.
We are delighted to bring you access to nine months of free, confidential work-focused support from a qualified mental health professional - through our new partnership with Able Futures - the Access to Work mental health support service, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
You can benefit from:
Flexible, fast and easy to use service - how to get in touch with Able Futures
Their confidential service is quick and easy to access:
Virtual Appointment Days
If something is playing on your mind at work staff can chat to Able Futures at a Virtual Appointment Day (telephone call)
Your virtual appointment call will take up to 30 minutes and you will need the following information to register for the phone call:
Information on our next sessions will appear here when they become available - watch this space!
For more information read Welcome to Able Futures [424kb]
Existing support routes
Below is a comprehensive list of some recommended Government approved pathways that are available to you, for free, impartial and confidential money advice and support. Information on local support services for Glasgow City and other Scottish Local Authority areas can be found here: https://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/cash-first-leaflets
You can also download and print the information below in our staff factsheet Your financial wellbeing - key advice and support factsheet [171kb]
1. Citizens Advice Scotland -Freephone:0800 028 1456 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) for help with housing, benefits, debt, and consumer issues such as energy bills.
2. Social Security Scotland-Freephone: 0800 182 222(Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) to find out about benefits and grants, need support paying for a funeral, disabled people, carers, young people entering the workplace. Visit www.mygov.scot/benefits for more information.
If you're disabled, you can get free support from an independent advocate to help you to apply for Social Security benefits. Freephone: 0300 303 1660, email: email@example.com or visit: www.voiceability.org to find out more.
3. Scottish Welfare Fund-you may be able to get a grant if you need help you pay for essentials, such as food, gas, electricity, or household goods. Visit: https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund/how-to-apply
4. Department for Work and Pensions - for information on welfare, pensions and working age, disability, and ill health benefits visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions
5. Macmillan Long Term Conditions & Improving the Cancer Journey- Phone: 0141 287 7077(Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) for free, confidential advice and support including income maximisation for anyone diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, chronic liver disease, heart failure, or stroke. In addition bespoke person-centred support for anyone affected by Cancer, including financial, emotional, physical, and practical including Housing advice.
1. Scottish Government- aimed at helping people through the current cost of living crisis, this website is a one stop shop providing information on support, grants, benefits and advice. Visit https://costofliving.campaign.gov.scot/
2. Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) resources to help support your mental health together with links to further sources of support to help you through the cost-of-living crisis.
1. National Debtline- Freephone: 0808 808 4000(Mon-Fri 9am-8pm,Sat 9.30am-1pm) for free advice and resources to help you with your debts.Visit: https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
2. Step Change -Freephone 0800 138 111 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm) for free advice, guidance and tools to helpwith debt problems. Visit: https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help/debt-advice-scotland.aspx
1. Glasgow Credit Union (GCU)- Phone 0141 274 9933. Financial Benefits are available to council staff including low-cost loans, member discounts and competitive deals on mortgages and insurance. Visit: https://www.glasgowcu.com/gcc-join-today/ or their Financial Wellbeing Hub.
2. Find Your Credit Union (FYCU) - Search the online directory of Credit Unions https://www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk/credit-unions/glasgow-credit-union/
1. Blue Light Card Schemeprovides those in the NHS, emergency services, social care sector and armed forces with discounts online and in-store, just £4.99 for 2 years https://www.bluelightcard.co.uk/
2. Young Scot National Entitlement Cardfree for 11 to 25 year olds, provides access to discounts and exclusive rewards-https://young.scot/the-young-scot-card
1. Home Energy Scotland- Freephone:0808 808 2282 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm) for advice and help to keep your home warm, cut your energy costs, and reduce your bills.Visit: https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/ for more information.
2. Energy Savings Trust Scotland, help to make homes more energy efficient, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills. https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/
3. Love Food Hate Waste, helpful hints, tips and guidance to get the greatest value from food. https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/love-food-hate-waste-scotland
4. Eat well - Wheatley Group supports tenants who are having unexpected financial issues by offering a supermarket voucher to help put food on the table. https://www.wheatleyhomes-glasgow.com/my-home/my-rent/eatwell
1. PickupMyPeriod app, allows users to identify locations across Scotland, where free period products are available - including council buildings and sites across the city.
Download the app at:
1. Glasgow Life, find out what's on at our museums https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums
2. Visit Glasgow, look for free events in the Glasgow area https://peoplemakeglasgow.com/see-do/outdoor-activities/top-5-winter-walks-in-glasgow
1. SPT website for more information on concessionary travel (children up to 21 & adults over 60) https://www.spt.co.uk/tickets/concessions/
2. ScotRail, Flexi Pass - Save 15% on 10 single journeys or 5 return journeys on the same route within 60 days https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets/flexipass
3. First Bus Glasgow, Commuter Travel Club - 10% discount on monthly tickets (paid via Direct Debit). Click on Commuter Travel Club | First Bus , go to the bottom of the page, register with your name and set up your personal password. Select Glasgow City Council from the dropdown menu and login using Password: GCC-FIRSTBUS-CTC
1. Trading Standards Scotland - keep up to date with the latest phone, email, doorstep and online scams https://www.tsscot.co.uk/news/scam-share/
1. PAM Assist - our Employee Assistance Provider is available 24/7 for free, confidential, and independent advice and support that matters to you and your family.
Freephone: 0800 247 1100 or Webchat: pam-assist.co.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Glasgow Helps - Phone 0141 276 1185 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) for free confidential information and advice on issues such as food, utilities, income maximisation, housing, homelessness and much more to help you access the right support at the right time and in the right place. Visit: www.glasgow.gov.uk/glasgowhelps
3. Breathing Space -Freephone: 0800 83 85 87 (Mon-Fri 6pm-2am, 24 hours at weekend) if you are feeling low, anxious, or depressed.
4. Samaritans- Freephone: 116 123 (24/7) or find out other ways of getting in touch.
Our workplace policies have been updated to help support staff and to reduce the impact of gambling, alcohol and drug related harms on our workforce. You can read these here:
Dedicated addictions helpline - free, confidential and available 24/7
The council signed the Unite Charter as part of our ongoing commitment to reduce gambling related harms in the workplace and support the wellbeing. You can read the Charter Unite Charter [405kb].
Glasgow City Council is committed to creating a workplace free from bullying and harassment.
We all have a role to play in supporting this.
If you experience bullying and harassment or see it happening to someone else, follow the 5 key steps to stop it:
Support for you
Below you will find information on the support available to anyone affected by bullying and harassment.
Support includes access to free confidential advice by phoning our dedicated external helpline - with our Employee Assistance Provider.
Chat on the phone - 24/7
You can also chat in confidence to:
Additional external support and advice is available from:
Wherever you are currently working, taking time to look after your mental and physical wellbeing is vital to staying healthy and happy - especially at this challenging time.
On Your Wellbeing Stories and Top Tips we showcase how teams are staying connected, keeping active, and put a spotlight on our local heroes making a real difference.
On our Get Involved This Month page we profile free events and health and wellbeing sessions you can take part in - such as how to help your mindfulness, reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety, support to help you return to work good money management, and hybrid working.
Read our quick staff guide on Tips for Wellbeing [717kb] which incorporates the proven five ways to wellbeing to help support our mental health and wellbeing.
Five ways to wellbeing have many benefits and can be easily incorporated into our daily lives to help improve our mental health and wellbeing.
3. Take Notice
4. Be Active
Being active can help to enhance your mood and wellbeing by reducing stress, anxiety and increasing energy levels. Walks, jogs or cycles are a great way to clear your head and stay active. Glasgow walkit.com shows walking routes across the city. Bikemap.net shows bike routes through Glasgow.
Remember to observe social distancing guidance.
We have all been working hard during the last year and coping with the challenges it has brought.
In particular our frontline workers have continued to deliver critical services to our most vulnerable citizens during the pandemic - even though life has not been normal for any of us.
Looking after your own mental wellbeing is really important and even as restrictions begin to lift, we know that many of you are continuing to experience high levels of anxiety and stress - this is a normal reaction.
'Time for You' is a new online and virtual mental health support service being provided by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University and (LLTTF) Living Life to the Full.
It provides free mental health and wellbeing support to all frontline workers across Scotland.
There are three different levels available to you - ranging from self-help, one to one support and also virtual therapy support.
There is also a Wellbeing Assessment Tool that you can use to work out what level of symptoms you may be experiencing to help you access the right support for a chat.
Take 'time for you'
We encourage our frontline staff to visit the site and benefit from the support on offer.
So why not take some 'time for you' and make looking after your own health and mental wellbeing a priority. Visit www.samh.org.uk/timeforyou
If you need help right now
If you feel you are struggling and need to talk to someone urgently about how you are feeling - there are lots of places you can turn to for a confidential chat and advice. Visit our staff health and wellbeing help right now support page for more details.
Don't Wait to Stop Smoking
Smoking remains a leading cause of preventable diseases in Scotland. The joint 'Don't wait' stop smoking campaign has been re-launched between Scotland's three largest health boards - NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire, and NHS Lothian.
The campaign focuses on the harms smoking can cause and highlights the free NHS stop smoking services available to support those who are ready to 'stub the addiction.'
If you are a smoker, stopping smoking is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy - and the health benefits start almost as soon as you stop.
It's never too late to quit. Don't Wait; Let's do this!
NHS help and support
Find out more information and advice about how to quit smoking at nhsinfom.scot
Find out how to get help from NHS Stop smoking advisors who can help you to stop smoking for good. Visit nhsinform.scot
You can contact the NHS Quit You Way service free, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or phone 0800 84 84 84
Download the NHS Quit Smoking App
You can also visit your local Community Pharmacy for free stop smoking support
Support for staff
View our Smoke Fee Policy on Connect at http://connect.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=24789&p=0
Find useful help and guidance in our Health and Wellbeing Handbook on Connect at http://connect.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=55690&p=0
Our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options, can provide a free Smoking Cessation Pack as well as access to free, confidential, independent advice and counselling support 24/7. Phone Workplace Options on 0800 247 1100or visit workplaceoptions.com
To encourage healthier eating as part of our Staff Health and Wellbeing Strategy, we are delighted to offer you the opportunity to order fresh fruit and vegetables at discounted price for direct delivery to your home or place of work.
We have joined forces with Firm Banana, a local family-run business with over 30 years of trading within City Markets.
As a Glasgow City Council employee, you can benefit from:
How to Order
Ordering is simple via: https://www.firmbanana.com/discount/GCC
Alternatively you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the Council's Farmer's Markets. Or visit the Glasgow Wholesale Market which sells fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers at a fraction of the price you would pay in the shops. You'll find them off Junction 14 of the M8, 130 Blochairn Road, Glasgow, G21 2DU.
During the summer many of us enjoy a BBQ with friends and family. And the good news is that grilling food can be one of the healthiest ways to cook .
Here are some tips on how you can achieve this perfect blend of tasty BBQ food and healthy eating:
More information on healthy eating
Drinking healthily - know the limits
Remember the guidelines around alcohol - you should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, and consumption should be spread evenly across three or four days.
If you are worried about your own, or someone else's, drinking there is support:
The Scottish Government have launched a bold new lung cancer campaign called 'Settling In'
The national campaign has been designed to encourage people aged 40+ to contact their GP practice without delay if they have potential lung cancer symptoms, highlighting that the sooner it is found, the easier it is to treat.
You can view the TV advert here
So don't let lung cancer make itself at home.
If you have unusual breathlessness or a new or different persistent cough for more than three weeks, get checked, especially if you're over 40. These symptoms can be an early sign of lung cancer, so don't delay contacting your GP practice.
While it's probably nothing to worry about, it's worth getting checked as the sooner lung cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.
Find out more at www.getcheckedearly.org
Boosting Family Wellbeing
The Scottish Government have this month (August 2021) launched theParent Club 'Boosting Family Wellbeing' campaign.
The campaign provides tips and supports parents to introduce positive interactions with their children into their daily routine.
The past 18 months have been extremely difficult for families and have caused serious disruption to family life. Different households face different challenges - but one thing everyone has in common is their mental health, and the importance of looking after it.
'Boosting Family Wellbeing' will familiarise parents with principles that build children's happiness, confidence and independence - things like empowerment, safety, choice, working together and trustworthiness.
The campaign will also give parents guidance and tips for weaving these principles into everyday moments, helping them to foster confidence and sense of responsibility in their children.
Try sitting down with your child each day for a little uninterrupted time together. Watch them, notice what they are doing and let them know you are interested. This will help them see that their interests and needs are important.
Support from Workplace Options
Remember that Workplace Options, your Employee Assistance Provider, is always there for you and can help you with the things that matter most to you and your family.
Wellbeing for wee ones - It has been a particularly tough time for everyone over the last year, whether you are a new parent or one with a growing family. Either way, it can be difficult to know whether you're doing the best thing for your baby.
That's why we've partnered with Parent Club to tell you about their Wellbeing for Wee Ones campaign which aims to reassure parents that from day one simple things like singing and chatting help their babies feel happy, loved, and emotionally supported, now and into the future.
You are not just helping your wee one feel happy and loved. You're also boosting their social and emotional wellbeing.
The Parent Club 'Wellbeing for Wee Ones' campaign hub provides expert advice on easy ways for caregivers to support their baby's brain development and emotional wellbeing as part of everyday activities, like:
To find out more about the Wellbeing for Wee Ones campaign and how it can help you support your wee one's emotional and social health, visit Parent Club Wellbeing . It also includes expert advice on easy ways to help your baby's brain grow through everyday activities.
Winter Support Campaign - With the winter lockdown restrictions in place, we know that parents are struggling at this time.
A range of information, advice and support is available this month in the new Winter Lockdown Support Hub - including practical advice on home schooling, childcare support, and shared parenting.
Ongoing support for families during the pandemic is also available at the Coronavirus Support Hub.
Get tips on coping with the challenges of being a parent and keeping calm with your wee one so you can focus on building a rewarding relationship together. If you feel you're getting frustrated and losing patience, there are ways to calm things down.
These are tough times, and we're all doing our best to get through them. It's only natural if you're finding it's taking a toll on you and your family's mental health. In particular, teens could be finding things difficult at the moment. They may be finding it hard to adapt to new restrictions and may be worried that they're missing out on this time in their lives.
For a little extra support to help you and your family get through this, check out the Parent Club Hub for support for looking after yourself and your family.
Adjusting to life after lockdown - It continues to be a really challenging time for many families as they start to re-adjust to life after lockdown. If you are the parent or carer of a child or young person, you may already be preparing for the next big change with the re-opening of schools and early learning and childcare facilities.
Your child's school, nursery or childcare establishment will provide much of the information you need to support your child's successful return and transition.
Additional support is available from:
Increased screen time has become a part of everyday life in this digital age, even more so during the pandemic as many of us are working from home and attending 'virtual' meetings.
Long spells of screen time can lead to tired eyes and discomfort. Here's our top tips to help avoid this:
As a council employee, you have access to fantastic health benefits along with discounted shopping by taking out an HSF health plan policy.
HSF Health Plan is a health cash plan provider, committed to delivering simple and affordable ways to help you cover the cost of everyday healthcare such as dental, optical and physiotherapy, plus much more!
How does it work? It's simple. You pay a premium for the scheme that suits you best, then you claim cash back for your treatments as and when you need it. Not only that, but your spouse / partner and children (up to age of 18, as long as they reside at the same address) are covered at no extra cost.