28th February 2022
HSE Update Mental Health Resources
The 2021 Teacher Wellbeing Index, an annual report by the Education Support Charity in conjunction with YouGov, revealed that teachers’ mental health is getting worse in several areas.
The report found that a growing number of teachers have reported behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms, which include panic attacks, anxiety, depression, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, forgetfulness, overeating and tearfulness, due to the stresses of their jobs. That number stood at 77% in 2021, up from 74% in 2020.
As a result, the HSE are updating their resources to help support teachers. They've also launched the new campaign 'Working Minds', which is intended to support workers with mental health issues and promote good mental health.
HSE’s Chief Executive Sarah Albon said: “Work-related stress and poor mental health should be treated with the same significance as risks of poor physical health and injury. In terms of the effect it has on workers, significant and long-term stress can limit performance and impact personal lives. No worker should suffer in silence and if we don’t act now to improve workers’ mental health, this could evolve into a health and safety crisis. The pandemic has highlighted the need to protect the health of employees who have faced unprecedented challenges; the Government is committed to building back better and we want to make sure good mental health is central to this.”
Here are just a few of the resources HSE have in place if you or your staff are struggling:
THE EDUCATION TALKING TOOLKIT
The Talking Toolkit is designed to be used as a framework to help line managers have simple, practical conversations with school employees. It should not be used as a sole response to an existing problem with workrelated stress in your school.
The toolkit has six templates for six different conversations, each with a different theme designed to get you talking about issues which may be causing work-related stress or issues which could have the potential to become future causes if not managed properly.
STRESS AND MENTAL HEALTH AT WORK WEBSITE
This is a collection of web-based resources.
MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS, WORK AND THE WORKPLACE
This guidance talks generally about work-related stress but where such stress is prolonged it can lead to both physical and psychological damage, including anxiety and depression.
TACKLING STRESS WORKBOOK
The Talking Toolkit should not be used in isolation as an employer’s only response if there is an existing problem with work-related stress in the organisation. It can be provided to line managers to help them start to have simple, practical conversations with employees.
ADVICE FOR EMPLOYEES WITH MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
If you feel you have a problem, the sooner you do something about it, the better – it can stop you becoming more unwell. Line managers and colleagues can also play an important role in identifying when colleagues are behaving out of character, so it is best to be cooperative if your line manager approaches you with concerns.