How exactly could we create a "safe space" at work or at our university — R Voice

How exactly could we create a "safe space" at work or at our university

Andrea Hayward
Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 581 admin

@Stefano Zucca adding in a question here based on something I noticed in the webinar chat.

A lot of advice around wellbeing out there talks about “creating a safe space”. But this is a very new concept to me. What would a safe space look like? How can we go about creating one?

Answers

  • Stefano Zucca
    Stefano Zucca Member Posts: 4

    Creating a "safe space" is sometimes really hard. Especially if you want to include many people at once.

    But attempt to create space where people feel free to discuss about mental health, discrimination, harassment (and so on...) can be made at different level.

    You can start creating it with your peers/colleague by just chatting about the topic. Doesn't need to be related to personal experiences but can be just by presenting/discussing data or common situations. Just by doing this people will feel more comfortable in sharing their own experiences.

    In a similar way, lab can promote a culture of inclusivity together with a working environment where the impact of research on mental health and wellbeing are openly discussed.

    Finally, you can build supportive groups (as we did with the Coaching) which aim to address work-related issues. A fundamental step in doing this is to set clear and accepted rules by all the members. People should feel free to share but they should also feel free to say they don't feel comfortable in what you are sharing.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 581 admin

    @Stefano Zucca these are great suggestions! I love how you've said that the starting point can just be initiating conversations about topics such as mental health, without bringing up personal experiences. I can see how this would make people feel safer and more understood, if at all they decide to talk about what they're going through. By "safe", I guess most people just mean an environment in which they can share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, without the fear of being judged and without negative consequences for them.