Every year the World Health Organisation campaigns to raise awareness of a mental health crisis in the hope that leaders, communities and individuals will come together and take action. This year the WHO is promoting 40 Seconds of Action to highlight that every 40 seconds somebody takes their own life.
The UK education sector is recognised as a highly stressful working environment. The National Centre for Children and Families acknowledged that ‘Teaching is a tough job. It can be immensely rewarding but also physically and emotionally draining.’ They carried out a survey of school staff to find out what made their working lives challenging and what helped their wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, workload and work-life balance was reported as causing stress for 62% of respondents.
Having a mental health champion and promoting openness to encourage staff to share concerns were at the top of their ten steps to staff wellbeing. An anonymous staff wellbeing survey is a method of identifying underlying problems. Whole school training on mental health awareness is a good way to unify staff and promote trust with a clear message about the intentions and expectations and encourage peer support.
Poor staff health and wellbeing not only results in higher sickness absence costs, but it leads to increased employee turnover and difficulty in recruiting and retaining high-quality staff. An Employee Assistance Programme is the most cost effective way of promoting staff health and wellbeing in your school. Find out more here