Work pressure in Covid lockdown was shattering, says teachers
Supporting schools with mental health training
As a former school leader, I can empathise with just how challenging the role can be. But then I haven’t been a school leader during 2020/21…which must surely be the most difficult time to work in education in modern history, and so I’m supporting schools with mental health training in an attempt to play my part in helping during these tough times.
I do still teach, however, part-time as a Teaching Fellow at Birmingham City University on the University’s teacher training programme. Staying connected to education during the pandemic has allowed me a glimpse into the ever-changing challenges of the profession. Teacher recruitment is down, with prospective teachers being put off by the events of the past 18 months. And to make things more difficult, current trainee teachers have also struggled to complete their teaching placements due to the restrictions in place, meaning there are a number of trainees who just aren’t ready to qualify to teach.
One in four teachers tell union they sought medical help because of pandemic impact
Teachers say their mental health has been so damaged that many needed medical help to cope with “overwhelming” work pressures during lockdown, while some resorted to self-harm, according to one of the UK’s major teaching unions.
One in four teachers who answered questions about their mental wellbeing told the NASUWT union that they had needed to see a doctor or other medical professional because of the pandemic’s impact, with many undergoing counselling or taking antidepressants.
A small number of the 4,700 members who replied said they had self-harmed within the last 12 months as a result of their work. Others reported that their relationships had broken down during the pandemic, and nearly one in three said they had increased their alcohol consumption as a means to cope with their job.
One teacher told the union: “Managing my own family with the increased workload of remote learning, as well as in-the-classroom learning, was ridiculous. I was working two jobs. My mental health suffered, my family’s mental health suffered. I considered leaving the profession.”
We need to support our school leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime supervisors, office staff…anyone who works in education today.
It’s no longer a nice thing to do; it’s essential for the mental health of staff and students.
My own contribution…
There are many ways to support schools, whether it’s joining and supporting your own PTFA group, or simply promoting fundraising initiatives on social media.
I’ve decided to support schools in accessing affordable Mental Health First Aid training, for supporting both staff and students.
I’m discounting my September & October courses for schools, plus I’m letting them book now and not pay anything until October half term. By providing a purchase order number at the point of booking only; I’m delaying their invoices, to help manage their ever-decreasing budgets during these difficult times.
If you would like to know more about our MHFA courses or to book onto our next available dates, simply click here
We currently offer the following MHFA courses for both online and face-to-face delivery:
- Adult MHFA (15 hr)
- Adult Mental Health Aware (half-day)
- Youth MHFA (15 hr)
- Youth Mental Health Aware (half-day)
For more information, please visit www.loftustraining.com
Matt is passionate about sharing knowledge with others and supporting those experiencing poor mental health. Alongside delivering MHFA courses, he currently volunteers as a crisis volunteer for Shout85258; helping others experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.