The ‘Education Support Partnership’ survey 2015 uncovered an ‘epidemic’ of mental health issues as 84% of those working in education admit to suffering problems, with workload to blame in 81% of cases. The results also suggest mental health issues are at risk of being a closely guarded secret as only one quarter of those affected discussed their problems with line managers!
81% of teachers blamed workload!
25% Discussed the problem with their line managers
8% had a discussion with HR
Nearly half of teachers said that unreasonable demands from line managers were the cause of their stress. (44%)
77% of those surveyed said they were thinking of leaving the profession!
Worryingly nearly half of those surveyed (44%) didn’t know of they had a wellbeing policy in place and 15% said that they didn’t have one in place.
Julian Stanley, CEO of the Education Support Partnership explains: “Our survey suggests that not only are mental health problems continuing to be a worrying trend for the sector, there is also a fear preventing people from speaking out or seeking appropriate help when they need it. Perhaps this is due to a shortage of workplace wellbeing programmes or due to a sense that school leaders just don’t want to hear more bad news. Either way this has to change if we are to hold onto valuable staff who need more support to help them stay working and at their best.
“These results suggest that some in the sector are experiencing a communications breakdown, not speaking to their managers about their issues but instead burdening their nearest and dearest with problems they neither know or can do anything about. Not only is this not sustainable from a professional but also a personal perspective, as our survey found that nearly half of those experiencing mental health problems had found this to have a negative impact on their personal relationships too.
“Ultimately, responsibility for work place wellbeing should lie with the employer, not family, friends or trade unions, this why we believe that the adoption of wellbeing programmes across the entire education sector is so critically important in helping to find ways to unlock, prevent and repair the damage of work place strain.
“Despite the constant barrage of negative news education is still one of the most varied and inspiring sectors in which to work. With the right support from Government, school leaders and Governors, Local Authorities and Academy chains, education staff can still thrive and survive. The key learnings from this survey seem to be that making sharing of one’s concerns about mental health difficulties should be the norm rather than a shameful secret to be hidden away, and that more processes and policies need to be put into place to make sure that staff feel better supported and cared for.”
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If you are stressed from work and feel like you need support contact the Education Support Partnership. They are trained to help and support you and can offer free, confidential support!