The Trust and Support Network (TSN) offers listening, guidance and support in complete confidentiality. It is composed of internal and external instances with a mandate to provide assistance in situations related to psychosocial risks.
Psychosocial risks are threats to an individual’s mental, physical or emotional health arising from the kind of work they perform, the organization they work or study in, the relationships within that organization, or their work or study environment.
These risks can be caused by excessive or chronic stress and/or by personal attacks, such as through harassment, discrimination, verbal abuse, physical abuse, mobbing or sexual aggression.
Psychosocial risks can have serious consequences, especially in cases of repeated, long-term exposure.
The Trust and Support Network includes among others the Student Affairs, the Doctoral School, the Equal Opportunity Office, the Point Santé (Health Point), the Person of Trust, the Spiritual Care Service, the HR Department and the TSN lead.
These instances share a common approach to situations related to psychosocial risks and their resources are available to members of the EPFL community. They provide targeted support at all times, and as needed.
The TSN instances may, with the person’s agreement, transfer a situation to the Respect Compliance Office to file a formal complaint.
The Trust and Support Network was created as a result of the work of the Task Force Harassment A-Z & Promoting a Culture of Respect in 2021. Its implementation started in mid-2022.
The TSN is led by Ines Ariceta within the Vice Presidency for Responsible Transformation. Her mission is to coordinate the instances of the Network and to ensure that its members have the relevant training to prevent, address and reduce psychosocial risks in the work and study environment at EPFL.
In September 2023, TSN launched the Trust Point app to facilitate access to network members. (Click on the thumbnail below)
At your disposal at EPFL
Support, advice and guidance
The Student Affairs (SAE) offers a listening ear, information and confidential advice* to students and PhD candidates through the social and psychotherapeutic consultation.
The SAE representatives will ensure that the person who has requested help obtains the necessary support and assistance. They can take the necessary steps to try to resolve a problematic situation.
*In certain circumstances, the Student Affairs representatives may be required to act and share information with the persons concerned or with third parties. As a general rule, the student or the PhD candidate will be asked for permission to share confidential information with third parties.
Individual Support > Social Consultation > Psychotherapeutic Consultation
Support, advice and guidance
The Doctoral School offers support, information and confidential advice* to PhD candidates. It can take the necessary measures to try to solve a problematic situation. It ensures that the person who has requested help obtains the necessary support and assistance.
*In certain circumstances, the Doctoral School may be required to act and share information. However, as a general rule, the PhD candidate will be asked for permission to share confidential information with third parties. The candidate will be kept informed of the next steps at each stage of the procedure.
Support, advice and guidance
The Equal Opportunity Office provides a safe space to ask questions, voice concerns and receive information and advice on personal rights, the institutional policy and measures with regard to equality, diversity and non-discrimination, and on possible actions that can be taken.
The Equal Opportunity Delegate can provide support during the process of finding an informal solution or in the preparation of a formal complaint. Confidentiality is guaranteed, except in cases involving criminal law.
Consultations, support, managerial actions
HR’s role is to support and guide team leaders and employees in managing their working relations. This includes measures to prevent conflict and propose solutions in accordance with the legal framework. HR specialists make sure that an employee (PhD candidate, academic, scientific, administrative or technical staff) who has requested their help obtains the necessary support and assistance confidentialy.
Melchior Allet, ENAC School – [email protected]
Chantal Gallandre, P, VPO, CDM – [email protected]
Eliane Gesseney Laeri, VPA centres & platforms – [email protected]
Anne Gilliéron, SB School – [email protected]
Monique Grin Celka, VPA – [email protected]
François Jaccottet, VPO-SI, VPFI, VPI, VPT, CDH – [email protected]
Laure Ledru, SV School- [email protected]
Roger Monin, STI School – [email protected]
Consultations, support and advice in complete confidentiality
The Point Santé provides two services: occupational medicine, which includes consultations for EPFL employees and PhD candidates in the context of specific occupational health risks; and nursing consultations, which are open to all. The nurses, medical assistants and doctors who work in Point Santé are subject to professional secrecy obligations.
Nurse consultations: [email protected]
Occupational health: [email protected]
Chaplains are available to offer attentive listening, advice and practical help to anyone who wants it. You can contact them to talk about your personal or family situation, your spiritual and existential questions (e.g., search for meaning, bereavement, climate-related eco-emotions, feelings of emptiness, etc.).
The chaplaincy is a place of welcome and respect, where each person is considered unique and precious, whatever their convictions, or spiritual, sexual or other orientation. Rooted in the Christian tradition, the chaplaincy is open to different religions, beliefs, philosophies and free thought. This service is provided jointly by UNIL, EPFL and the catholic and protestant churches of the canton of Vaud.
Information and contact: https://www.epfl.ch/campus/spiritual-care/en/
Mediation, support, advice and guidance in complete confidentiality
The Person of Trust is a professional in conflict management in the workplace and in the applicable legislation. She has a mandate from EPFL’s Senior Management to advise, in complete independence and confidentiality, employees (including doctoral candidates) and students, when they are targets or witnesses of psychological or sexual harassment or discriminatory behavior, in the best interest of the person concerned, in a completely independent manner and by guaranteeing them complete confidentiality and anonymity.
Without replacing a lawyer or doctor, the Person of Trust will listen to, advise and, if necessary, direct to the right people anyone experiencing a problem at EPFL. Such difficulties can be personal (demotivation, anxiety, burnout, work overload, sense of isolation or exclusion, etc.) or relational (communication problems, lack of understanding, tensions, disagreements, conflicts, violence, psychological (mobbing) and sexual harassment, etc.).
The Person of Trust may also provide mediation services to resolve a situation involving one or more other persons.
Aurélie de Francesco – [email protected]
Person of Trust, SBA Mediator and Conflict resolution specialist, accredited by the Swiss Chamber of Commercial Mediation, Lawyer member of the Commission of Mediation of the Vaud Bar Association.
In May 2022, Ines Ariceta became the head of the Trust and Support Network, which was set up under EPFL’s Harassment Task Force. Her journey and vision have made her the obvious choice, but she doesn’t take anything for granted.
With the establishment of the Trust and Support Network (TSN), the bodies and functions involved in dealing with cases of harassment, discrimination or any other inappropriate behavior are becoming clearer. Specific training courses have been started and are being developed, reaching more and more key people.