Dec. 2, 2019

Now is the time to connect with people and resources in your community

Workforce reductions will affect all UCalgary employees in some way — supporting each other during this difficult time will make a positive impact
A snowy campus Riley Brandt

Following a tough week for the UCalgary community, Dr. Andrew Szeto, director of the Campus Mental Health Strategy, reminds us to reach out to get help, offer support and stay connected.

Uncertainty around job security has caused anxiety across the institution since the provincial budget was announced on Oct. 24. In November, workforce reductions directly impacted employees.

“Everyone in our campus community is impacted in one way or another by the layoffs,” says Szeto. “It is so important during these difficult times that we make use of the resources that are available.”

Connect with your community of caring

A source of strength for UCalgary employees during this difficult time is their inclusion in a caring community that welcomes open discussion — a community that has grown stronger through the programs and initiatives set out by the Campus Mental Health Strategy. 

I believe we have come a long way in making UCalgary a place where people are comfortable talking about their mental health experiences and listening to others with empathy and respect. We also have to recognize that these difficult times can disrupt our sense of community and may lead us to feel unsupported,” says Szeto. That makes it even more important to connect with and support each other during these difficult times.”  

In addition to supporting each other here at work, Szeto encourages people to connect with colleagues and friends who have been laid off.  

“Definitely reach out,” he says. “Some people will have worked with these individuals for many years — it’s only natural to get in touch.”

Connect with information and resources  

While there are still many unknowns regarding further workforce reductions at UCalgary, the Human Resources team is working to share information and updates as soon as possible.

UCalgary employees have access to many support resources. If you have been affected by workforce reductions, take a look at the list of resources below to find something that is right for you.

Personal support


Experiencing Job Loss | Homewood Health PDF
Even though it does not make it easier, it is helpful to understand normal reactions during the early stages after learning this news, and to consider some steps that can help strengthen your ability to cope during this time.
Read more

Surviving Layoffs and Terminations | Homewood Health PDF
An important step in dealing with recent workplace changes will be recognizing your personal reactions to the news and any resulting changes impacting your role and job responsibilities.
Read more

Assisting a Colleague in Distress | Staff Wellness web resource
Faculty and staff play an important role in supporting each other's mental health and well-being. Learn to recognize common signs of distress and how you can offer assistance to a colleague in distress.
Read more

LinkedIn Learning for Employees

Manager resources:  

Supporting Those Affected by Layoffs and Termination | Homewood Health PDF
After layoffs or terminations affecting your staff and workplace, your employees may react in various ways depending on the scale of the job loss and the number of employees or teams that have been impacted.
Read more

Self-Care Considerations Following Layoffs | Homewood Health PDF
Your reactions and self-care strategies are important for managing post-layoff stress as it relates to your management role and transitioning towards a "new normal" within your workplace.
Read more

Mental Health Support Following Critical Incidents | Staff Wellness web resource
After a critical incident, leaders can play a significant role to reduce distress and help direct individuals to the appropriate on and off-campus resources for consultation and support.
Read more

LinkedIn Learning for managers