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Mental Health Issues Amongst School Staff Is On the Rise: What Can You Do About It?

Mental health issues amongst school staff in the UK education system are on the rise. The social and educational impact of Covid-19 is still being felt amongst students, schools are stretched thin, and, most importantly - and unfortunately - school staff are stretched even thinner.

From teachers to governors, headteachers to safeguarding leads; every member of staff that holds up the pillars of the education setting are under immense pressure and stress. They are attacked from a multitude of different angles. From their economic situation, to the changing landscape of the school and its students, staff suffering from bereavement, to the stress of expectation to achieve the same - if not higher - goals, with less funding, fewer resources, and, in some cases, more students.

We will briefly explore recent studies on staff mental health, before moving on to look at what can be done to ease, mitigate, and even prevent the ongoing mental health crisis amongst school staff in the UK education system.

Workplace stress

A recent study done by the Teacher Wellbeing Index found that almost eight out of ten UK school staff experience mental health symptoms due to their work, with well over half considering leaving the profession.

Additionally, one third had sought out counselling as a form of treatment.

A recent annual NASUWT Conference has stated that teachers should receive extensive mental health training in suicide prevention amongst its staff. 

Among 12,000 responses, 23% reported drinking more alcohol, 12% increased their use of antidepressants, and 3% said they had self-harmed as a result of their work.

So, what can you do about this?

If you are a HR professional, a business leader, or a manager within an educational setting, there are some things you can do.

To help school staff with mental health problems, it is important to explore practical strategies to support employee mental health, promote a healthy and sustainable work-life balance, build a culture of recognition, and effectively implement Employee Assistance Programmes, amongst many other things.

We know that, aside from the negative, detrimental impact to one’s own happiness, mental health issues in the workplace significantly impact the school itself. Productivity, financial stability, and staff retention issues lead to a reduction in the school’s quality, having a negative, knock-on effect for students too.

So, what else can you do about these issues? Should staff seek help externally, or is there something that can be done internally? What is the best way to navigate these issues? Are they even fixable or preventable?

Our answer, and the best way we can help you, is through providing critical, essential training.

This is why we are proud to present to you our upcoming November conference that could benefit you and your school; our ‘Navigating Staff Mental Health’ conference, taking place on the 14th November, 2024.

Navigating Staff Mental Health Conference: What it's all about and why it can benefit you and your school

This virtual conference addresses these concerns by providing essential tools and strategies to benefit you and your school. Utilising training learned through resources such as this conference can support mental health in the workforce, improving productivity by reducing absenteeism and turnover costs. This conference will help staff recognise and tackle these financial implications, as well as learn how to implement supportive mental health policies to enhance existing staff's happiness, as well as bolstering recruitment and retention.

Participants will learn to identify and mitigate the root causes of mental health stigma, fostering open discussions amongst delegates and the speakers. They will also explore practical initiatives to support staff well-being, such as; promoting work-life balance, recognition cultures, and utilising Employee Assistance Programmes effectively.

This mental health conference will offer insights on spotting signs of stress, creating a supportive environment to minimise stress, and enhance resilience amongst staff. Furthermore, understanding legal obligations and best practices for accommodating mental health conditions will also be covered, alongside conducting audits of current policies, and developing comprehensive mental health policies.

So, why not join us at this comprehensive conference that will transform how your organisation supports employee well-being and tackles this rising mental health epidemic? Click here to find out more about this essential mental health conference.

Bereavement

Lastly, support for employees dealing with bereavement and grief will also be addressed, ensuring a well-rounded approach to mental health in the workplace.

If you are specifically interested in learning about the bereavement aspect in more detail, we have a bereavement-focused masterclass; Supporting Staff Bereavement in the Workplace, facilitated by Sam Garner for HR professionals. We currently have two dates for this – Wednesday 10th July 2024 and Tuesday 8th October 2024. Click here to find out more.

We look forward to seeing you at either of these mental health training events, and hope the takeaways and what you learn can help with tackling this rise in mental health issues amongst school staff.

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