Teachers are 'cracking' under mental health pressure in Suffolk
- Credit: Simon Whitney/Graham White/Gregg Brown/Canva
Teachers facing rolling lockdowns and last-minute government announcements over the last two years are starting to feel the increased strain and experiencing "very high levels" of mental health issues.
Simon Whitney, deputy Suffolk secretary of the teachers’ trade union NASUWT, explained teachers, like other key workers, have not stopped during the pandemic.
And with the high workloads and last-minute Covid changes, Mr Whitney, agrees with the charity Suffolk Mind that there are increasing levels of stress, anxiety and depression among school staff in the county.
Mr Whitney added: "It's absolutely true stress levels among teachers have increased from a very high level already throughout the pandemic.
"Teachers have been in school all the time either in the classroom or teaching online.
"They have been worrying about bringing Covid back to their own families during this time as well.
"And with that, Ofsted do not seem to be making allowances for teachers off sick and isolating."
- 1 Severe delays on A14 after lorry sheds load of sand on carriageway
- 2 Plans for new gym on Bury industrial estate given go-ahead
- 3 Person arrested as cannabis factory discovered at Bury St Edmunds home
- 4 A14 closed after crash involving lorry and car
- 5 Unclaimed £83k winning EuroMillions lottery ticket was bought in Suffolk
- 6 Police concerned for welfare of missing Suffolk man last seen two weeks ago
- 7 Teen ordered to sign sex offenders' register after police sting
- 8 Large stone thrown through car window in Bury St Edmunds
- 9 Police appeal after woman in her 70s suffers internal injuries in crash
- 10 Woman taken to hospital after crash in west Suffolk closes road
Graham White, press officer for the Suffolk branch of the National Education Union (NEU), said: "People suffer and cope and then they crack and eventually they go off long term sick and this costs money in the end.
"It's increased by a lot. There is the fear of getting Covid for them, for their families. This is why staff were so keen on getting the vaccination and face coverings and social distancing.
"And now social isolation is ending, there is a lot of pressure on what they do there."
To combat teacher's suffering from mental health issues, Suffolk Mind is offering a wellbeing support to teachers called the emotional wellbeing in the classroom course, which provides primary school staff with the tools to better identify signs of mental ill-health and advice on how to improve wellbeing.
Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, added: “Teachers have continued to work incredibly hard in the face of the pandemic and it is vital we give them the skills they need to support the wellbeing of themselves and of the whole classroom.”
It is hoped the course will also help teachers provide better wellbeing support to their pupils.
Ezra Hewing, head of mental health education at Suffolk Mind, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult time for pupils of all ages who have had their education disrupted by the virus."
More info is available here suffolkmind.org.uk/product/emotionalwellbeingintheclassroom.