The University of Oldenburg is expanding its counselling services and now offers employees support and advice on both work-related and personal issues. In addition to conflict prevention and mental health at the workplace, in future there will be an additional focus on organisational structures.
Problems with colleagues, pressure to meet deadlines, loneliness when working from home – stressful situations and conflicts can arise in our working life just as they do in our personal life. The University of Oldenburg aims to address such issues by expanding its counselling services, and has now launched the Psychosocial Counselling and Conflict Prevention Service at the Department for Human Resources and Organisational Development (PEOE). In addition, the Psychological Counselling Service (PBS) jointly run by the University and the Studentenwerk is now also open to the university's employees.
"As a university, we are committed to ensuring fair and respectful interaction between all University members," the University's Vice President for Administration and Finance Jörg Stahlmann explained. "Our goal is to facilitate good working conditions and contribute to creating a caring work environment. We therefore consider it important to offer our employees a service where they can seek advice and support to deal with challenging situations, but also take a closer look at organisational aspects of these issues in future." The new counselling services replace the University's former Social and Addiction Counselling Service (BSSB).
In October 2020 Dr. Astrid Beermann became the contact person at the PEOE department for all University employees. She can be contacted by email or phone. Mental pressure at work, individual crises in team situations, conflicts with colleagues or supervisors, problems with daily management routines – these are just a few examples of issues that can be discussed confidentially with Beermann. If desired, colleagues or supervisors can also be involved in the discussions so that conflicts can be jointly resolved.
Beermann has been practicing and teaching systemic psychotherapy as a counsellor and therapist, supervisor, coach and mediator for 20 years, including 14 years at the University of Oldenburg's Centre for Lifelong Learning.
Counselling also available in English
The Psychological Counselling Service – jointly run by the University and the Studentenwerk – has also been expanded. University employees can contact counsellor Frank Haber for support in dealing with stress and personal crises. International colleagues working in research, teaching or administration are also expressly invited to use the service: counselling is available in English and conducted with a special awareness of cultural and diversity aspects. In addition to work-related issues, anxiety, depression, conflicts in the personal environment and addiction can all be addressed here. Haber is a qualified psychologist and has been working as a counsellor and intercultural expert for more than 20 years, most recently at the Jacobs University Bremen, a private, English-speaking institution.
The University also offers a third counselling service for health management and mental health issues, the Workplace Health Promotion Service (Betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung). Inga Rüdebusch offers counselling and advice in the area of workplace integration management, for example to employees returning to work after prolonged illness, among others. In future, the various services will be more closely integrated and for example offer joint workshops on preventive healthcare.