As well as being a horrendous armchair know it all when it comes to career, university and work preparedness I’ve also been paying attention to other things education. So much so that I got involved with the TalkHealth Partnership earlier in the year and started writing some blogs about mental wellbeing in students and the looming crisis in mental health amongst students and teenagers.
The TalkHealth Partnership is an online community that is focused on encouraging real life users to engage with consultants, charities, doctors and experts to help self care where possible, inform, educate and sign post people to places where they can best access help. And, they’re rather good at it – so much so they designed a wellbeing programme for the staff of the NHS and many NHS Trusts and GP surgeries are now putting their staff through those programmes. In fact the programme is available to 3 Million users and counting. When we discussed the issues around teacher wellbeing, the high levels of stress, workload, long term absenteeism, anxiety, retention and all the myriad reasons why the profession and as a consequence schools and pupils were suffering it made sense to explore it further.
So we did, and in so doing discovered there really are very few comprehensive programmes available to teaching and support staff. Moreover those that are out there tend to be more an embuggerance than a use, forcing people to get well by doing yoga for an hour in the gym, where attendance is mandatory regardless of workload is sort of counter-intuitive. So we designed a programme that can be accessed by the staff when and if they want at home, at work, wherever they want it, crucially at a time convenient to them. It covers everything from sleep health, technology detox, diet, exercise to foot health (when you stand on your feet all day you’ll get how important this can be!) From the school’s perspective it can be tailored to include internal resources and most importantly an entry and exit questionnaire delivers an anonymised report that allows the staff to answer questions without fear or concern of reprisals and allows the school to understand what issues are the highest priority for their staff.
Anyway, that’s what happened and I’m very pleased to be involved because healthy teachers make for happy teachers which might help improve outcomes for our students. So there it is and here’s the link if you want any more information – http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/blog/2018/12/wellbeing/