Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 13 May to 19 May 2019

To support Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW: 13 May - 19 May), we have arranged for a number of different activities around the five ways to wellbeing including signposting to further support for staff.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of simple, evidence-based actions that individuals can do to promote and support their wellbeing and are integral to many activities that we care about and enjoy. More information on them can be found on the NHS website.


Staff social

Staff Social's aim is to bring together colleagues from across the University of York to socialise, share interests and build new friendships. Future events are listed on:

The next event is a garden party hosted by Alcuin College. Held at Alcuin Kitchen on 23 May from 5pm. This is a free event open to all University of York staff.

Book your free place

Actions to consider

Be active

Staff free swim

  • 14 May
  • York Sport Village

York Sport are offering a free swimming session for staff on Tuesday 14 May. You only need your staff card and remember to check the swimming time table for the best times to go.

Fun boot camp

  • 14 May
  • 12.30pm till 1pm
  • Greg's Place

This bootcamp is a taster session with the full session run on Tuesday evenings at York Sport Village. It includes shuttle running, resistance sprints, ropes and tyres and is delivered in a way that makes the class achievable and fun! The session will be a full body workout that aims on helping people burn fat, get fit and feel good.

Book a place on the boot camp session - Free for staff

Actions to consider

  • Small step: Get away from your desk and take a walk around campus
  • Big step: Dive in with the free swim session at York Sport or take part in the boot camp session

Keep learning

Open Lectures

Every term, the University organises free open lectures on a wide variety of topics aimed at a general audience. Note that some require pre-booking and this is indicated in any publicity for the session.

View all the lectures

The truth of psychoanalysis by Adam Phillips, writer and psychoanalyst

  • 15 May
  • 5pm to 6pm
  • The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building

Click for full details on the event

Actions to consider

  • Small Step: Try a new a recipe for tea
  • Big Step: Attend a free open lecture

Be mindful


  • 16 May
  • 12.15pm to 12.50pm
  • Environment Building - ENV/105x

Take a timeout with this free meditation session delivered by Nigel Woolsey.

This Meditation session will cover:

  • Breathing meditation: the session will start with a 10-minute breathing meditation, designed to settle the mind and let go of distractions, in order to get the most out of the session.
  • Thought for the day: be inspired and uplifted with a bite-size 10-minute teaching, emphasizing practical application of timeless Buddhist wisdom.
  • Concluding meditation: enjoy a 10-minute concluding meditation to help you experience inner peace, take the teaching to heart and then carry it with mindfulness into your daily life

Book your free place

Actions to consider

  • Small Step: Switch off your phone and look around
  • Big Step: Attend the free meditation session on campus

Give to others

York Cares

York Cares is a partnership of the city's leading employers committed to making York a better place through employee-volunteering

They are now recruiting teams of volunteers for the York Cares Big Community Challenge, which this year is taking place at The Hut in Clarence Gardens over three days on 4 June to 6 June.

The Challenge: To revive the outdoor space at The Hut in Clarence Gardens, making a difference to people living with mental health conditions and hospital users. We need your help to transform the local community around Clarence Gardens in just three days. Half-day slots are available for teams of up to 10 volunteers, making this an accessible, supported and rewarding opportunity. To book your team onto the Big Community Challenge please contact

Actions to consider

  • Small step: Perform a random act of kindness, give someone your time - make them a cuppa.
  • Big step: Get in involved with the York Cares Big Community Challenge.