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Guidelines for Head Teachers

yakuza

yakuza

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A SET of guidelines have been created for head teachers in England and Wales to help improve workplace environments and reduce mental health difficulties among teachers.

The guidelines – set out in a 24-page booklet – were created by the National Union of Teachers, alongside support staff unions, Unison, Unite and the GMB.

The booklet covers how teachers can support staff though mental health conditions should they arise, and sets out which professionals teachers can contact in the event of any difficulties.

It is estimated 15-25% of people suffer mental health conditions at any one time. Teaching is regarded by many as one of the most stressful professions, and it is hoped the guidelines published last Friday will help school leaders prevent mental health difficulties occurring in their staff.

Christine Blower, acting general secretary of the NUT, said: “The NUT is delighted to provide practical support to head teachers which will assist in minimising the risk of staff developing work-related mental ill health.”

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said the booklet was a welcome addition to the guidance already being offered to those in the teaching profession.

He added: “This guidance provides practical advice to schools on how to support their staff and tackle the stigma attached to mental health conditions in the workplace.

“Mental illness is the fastest growing cause of sick leave in the UK and the economic cost is vast. Some 13 million working days are lost every year due to stress, depression and anxiety.

“Employers must face up to their responsibility to support their staff, or face ever increasing sick leave and loss of talent.

“The impact of work-related stress to employees should never be underestimated, nor should it be seen as an inevitable consequence of working life.”

Copies of the Preventing Work-Related Mental Health Conditions by Tackling Stress booklet are available from representatives of the four unions
 
nickh

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Thanks Yakuza - always good to hear of positive initiatives :).

Nick.
 
yakuza

yakuza

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TEACHER SUPPORT

TEACHER Support Cymru recently welcomed the release of a guidance document from the Department for Children, Schools and Families called: ‘Common mental health problems: supporting school staff by taking positive action’.

The document – which was written in cooperation with Teacher Support Cymru and can be viewed via its website, www.teachersupport.info – was developed following a review of teacher’s sickness absence.

Although the document is aimed at teachers, mental health problems can affect everyone working in schools.

It outlines how to deal positively with common mental health problems among teachers and the rest of school staff. It provides advice to teachers who are dealing with colleagues with mental health problems and also offers important guidance for individuals themselves.

Mental health charity Mind Cymru has reported that a quarter of adults in the UK will experience some kind of mental health issue. When it comes to mental health, the dedication of teachers and other school staff can work against their ability to cope.

As a survey conducted by Teacher Support Cymru last year demonstrates, such problems are widespread among teachers. More than two thirds of those questioned had seen their physical health, professional performance and personal life suffer as a result of stress and over a third had taken time off work to cope.

Teacher Support Cymru said: “Evidence has shown that teachers have been put off looking for help because they think that they will inevitably lose their job. In reality, this is not the case and if help and advice is sought, the difficulty can be quickly overcome. Many teachers are then able to return to work.

“We welcome the publication of this report and are happy we played a part in its production.

“We help tens of thousands of teachers every year and a worrying number are struggling to cope with mental health issues that result from the unique pressure the profession brings.

“We urge all those working in schools to take on board this guidance and take positive action in order to support those who go through such conditions.”

Teacher Support Cymru can provide support with these issues. Phone 08000 855 088 or visit http://www.teachersupport.info/cymru.
 
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