5 Resources to Support Mental Health of Teachers and School Staff

5 Resources to Support Mental Health of Teachers and School Staff

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All students’ experiences in a classroom are influenced by the emotional environment, and a teacher’s emotional stability has a significant impact on that environment. Students who are affiliated with a teacher who has personal mental health issues may suffer as a result. There are numerous causes and underlying factors for mental health issues in schools, and it is possible to spot certain signs and symptoms that are connected to emotional problems. Therefore, strategies must be developed to aid teachers and other school staff with emotional issues. While it may not always be easy, doing so is essential for creating a positive school atmosphere.

To improve emotional well-being in schools, self-analysis, teaching peers, school administrators, and teacher preparation programs should be involved in determining teaching and working styles. This task cannot be accomplished by one person or organization. All schools need to be more aware of the issue and willing to work towards improving the emotional well-being of all teachers and school staff, even though it is frequently considered a difficult topic to discuss.

According to the Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022 by Education support:

  • Over 3,082 education staff have considered leaving the sector in the past academic year due to pressures on their mental health and well-being. 
  • More than half of the staff have actively sought to change or leave their current jobs, citing workload as the main factor. 
  • 59% of staff have considered leaving the sector in the past academic year due to pressures on their mental health and well-being.

A school should prioritize and commit to taking care of the mental health and well-being of its teachers and school staff. This helps generate more positive energy for the school, its students, and their families. UNICEF has provided 10 tips on how teachers and school staff can take care of their mental health. These tips include:

  1. Set aside time to unwind
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Set boundaries
  4. Focus on health and hygiene
  5. Adjust expectations
  6. Acquire new skills and appreciate the ones that are already there
  7. Stay socially connected
  8. Be kind to oneself and others
  9. Exercise and stay fit
  10. Seek mental health support if required

At times, it may be easy to take teachers and other school staff for granted due to how deeply ingrained they are in our communities. In attending to the needs of students, parents, and staff, teachers must contend with the lack of support from administration, constant changes in curriculum, and even life-threatening health conditions such as a pandemic, leading to stress and burnout.

With so much on their plates, instructors may neglect their self-care and mental health requirements Teach.com has investigated and gathered resources written, created, and produced by educators, mental health experts, agencies, and organizations to support the mental health of teachers and school staff. These resources include articles on their mental well-being, apps that support teachers’ mental health, and other relevant resources.

Also Read: 5 Mental Health Tips For School Leaders

Let us take a look at 5 resources to support mental health of teachers and school staff

1. Mental health apps

Mental health apps target a wide range of psychological problems and come in different styles and functionalities. The NIMH categorizes them into six groups: self-management, cognition enhancement, skills training, social support, symptom tracking, and passive data collection. Mental health apps cover all phases of clinical care, including rapid crisis intervention, prevention, diagnosis, primary treatment, complement to in-person therapy, and post-treatment condition management. Compared to other platforms, mobile applications are a suitable option for psychological treatment delivery because they are easy to use, require little effort, and have high hedonic motivation.

Resources:

Calm: A meditation and relaxation app that offers teachers access to exercises as well as an onboarding package.

Headspace: A mindfulness app that is available for free to TFA corps members and alumni

Read More: 5 Resources to Support Mental Health of Teachers and School Staff

2. Mental health support groups and organizations 

CTA

Teachers and school staff who have or are now going through similar experiences are brought together in support groups. For instance, this area of overlap may include mental health, work pressure, cancer, persistent illnesses, addiction, grief, or caring.

People might discuss their personal stories, thoughts, coping mechanisms, or firsthand knowledge of illnesses or treatments in a support group. A teacher and school staff mental health-related support group may bridge the gap for many between the need for emotional support and mental care. A school staff’s relatives and friends might not understand the effects of sickness or therapy, and a school staff’s relationship with a doctor or other medical professionals might not be able to adequately support them emotionally. So, a bridge between medical and emotional requirements might be created by a support group of individuals with similar experiences.

Resources:

Happy Teacher Revolution: Includes a network of teachers promoting wellness in their communities with online and virtual training and support group meetings.

NCTE Member Gathering, National Council of Teachers of English: It includes weekly gatherings of members to share ideas, build relationships and offer support to peers.

3. Mental health websites and other online content

Many teachers and school staff who struggle with mental illness now have lives dominated by social media. The term “social media” broadly refers to web and mobile platforms that enable people to connect within a virtual network (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or LinkedIn), where they can share, co-create, or exchange different types of digital content, such as knowledge, messages, photos, or videos. Teachers and school staff with mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or other conditions utilize social media platforms at rates similar to the general population. Many of them use social media to discuss their personal experiences, learn about their mental health and available treatments, and offer and receive support from others going through similar mental health issues.

Resources:

“15 Ways to Reduce Teacher Stress,” Scholastic: This includes tips to help teachers love what they do and enjoy their lives outside the classroom.

Educating Through Crisis, National Education Association: This includes a guide for physical and mental wellness with webinars, financial information, and tips to set up a home gym.

4. Books on mental health

Books are more than just a source of solace. They can serve as a doorway to other worlds, a bridge to a different past or future, a base for philosophies, and a support system in difficult times.

Although having a mental condition can make you feel alone, counselling and practicing mindfulness are effective ways to get support. Many books are authored by experts and certified professionals. They are available in libraries and bookshops for those wishing to gain new skills outside of treatment.

Reading mental health books may be an effective way to process teachers’ and school staff’s experiences, learn about psychology, and frequently discover strategies and skills to support oneself in day-to-day activities. Books on mental health can support as a mental health toolkit by offering various strategies, academic research, and accounts of people who have encountered similar difficulties.

Resources:

“The Happy Teacher’s Handbook: From Overwhelmed to Inspired – Helping Teachers Embrace Resiliency”: It includes tips, tools, and inspirational stories to help teachers handle their responsibilities and improve their time management skills.

“Moment for Teachers: Self-Care for Busy Teachers – 101 Free Ways for Teachers to Become More Inspired, Peaceful, and Confident in 30 Seconds”: It includes tasks and activities for teachers to do alone or with students.

5. Mental health podcasts

A podcast about mental health is a collection of interviews that have been recorded and discuss different aspects of mental health. Similar to a radio program, each episode of a podcast is typically hosted by the same individual. It could include guests, a thorough investigation of a certain topic, or current news. These guests on a podcast about mental health are frequently therapists, psychologists, behavioural scientists, and writers.

These programs can be used for self-care. The greatest mental health podcasts frequently feature research, insightful commentary, and healthy habits. Also, one may listen to podcasts anywhere due to their accessibility. Anyone can read insights, news, and information in school, on a flight, run, road trip, or on lunch break. Also, a teacher and school staff can undoubtedly pick up new skills that will aid in the maintenance of mental health.

Resources:

The Cult of Pedagogy: It focuses on educators, students, administrators, and parents sharing insight and advice with veteran educator Jennifer Gonzalez.

Teach Me, Teacher: It includes teachers sharing experiences to help their peers and offering their perspectives on teacher development with host and middle school teacher Jacob Chastain.

Conclusion

If a teacher or any school staff exhibits symptoms of sadness, anxiety, or burnout, it’s important to take care of mental health and well-being and seek mental health assistance. Being sad is not the same as just being worn out and dissatisfied. To live a happy and active life, the first step to feeling better and possibly even preventing additional major mental health disorders is to recognize these symptoms, use suitable mental health support resources and also seek medical or psychological assistance.

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