Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing for Education Professionals

Reducing the stigma around mental health

According to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, teaching staff and education professionals report the highest rates of work-related stress, depression and anxiety in Britain.

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time, and the coronavirus lockdown has been challenging for many of us. Let’s work together to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and make sure that anyone needing support knows where to find it.

Spotting workplace-specific signs of mental ill health

Often there are triggers for people that lead to deteriorating mental health and behaviours.  Some life events carry a higher risk of affecting someone’s mental health. However, it is important to remember that everyone is an individual and will respond differently to life events.

The key to spotting mental ill health lies in noticing changes in the person.

Physical changes

  • Suffering from minor illnesses - frequent headaches or stomach upsets
  • Difficulty sleeping or constant tiredness – being run down
  • Lack of care over appearance

Emotional and behavioural changes

  • Irritability, aggression or tearfulness - being withdrawn and not participating in conversations or social activities
  • Increased arguments or conflict with others
  • Erratic or socially unacceptable behaviour – being louder or more exuberant than usual
  • Loss of confidence
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Loss of humour

Changes at work

  • Working too many hours: first in, last out; sending emails out of hours or whilst on leave
  • Increased sickness absence
  • An employee who is normally punctual, arriving late
  • Increased consumption of caffeine or alcohol
  • Taking on too much work and volunteering for every new project, perhaps leading to increased errors, missing deadlines or forgetting tasks
  • Negative changes to ways of working or socialising with colleagues – indecision, inability to concentrate

Ways to improve mental health for education professionals

Like physical health, we can all benefit by looking after our mental health. There are five simple things you can do – the Five Ways.

When practised regularly, they boost resilience, boost wellbeing and offer some protection from developing mental health problems.

They’re beneficial for everyone, whether you have a mental health problem or not.

Mental Health Five Ways To Help

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 – kindness and mental health

Mental health charity Mental Health Foundation chose kindness as their theme for 2020's Mental Health Awareness Week, something we have witnessed since the start of the global pandemic. Kindness strengthens relationships and is recognised across all cultures around the world.

Kindness is an antidote to isolation and helps reduce stress, bring fresh perspective and deepen relationships, and it helps to create a sense of belonging. The charity is encouraging people to be courageous and show kindness to support each other and harness the benefits for the giver and receiver.

More help for improving mental health for education professionals

Other useful links:

 

Tutors and teachers insurance from Towergate

As well as taking care of your mental health as an education professional, you need to make sure you are protected against the unexpected with adequate insurance.

Our teachers and tutors policies can be tailored to your needs, including professional indemnity (PI), civil liability and public liability cover.

 

*https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-well-being-at-work-in-schools-and-further-education-providers/summary-and-recommendations-teacher-well-being-research-report