The mental health of educators is in crisis right now. It is causing increased stress, decreased job satisfaction, and a mass exodus of the profession. Mental health is a taboo subject; something no one wants to talk about or admit they struggle in that area. Because of that, educators suffer silently when they could be receiving help. If educators were exposed to mental health conditions, solutions, and supports, it’s highly probable teacher retention and job satisfaction would increase for the long-term. This positively impacts the success students experience in the classroom.
Better Understand Mental Health
- Research symptoms and solutions (mentalhealth.gov is a great place to start)
- Uncover funding options schools could utilize to better support teachers
Evaluate Mental Health Supports Available at School
- Reflect on what your school currently offers to support teachers with their mental health
- Decide what initiatives, programs, or supports are working and not working
- Revise current offerings so that they are more effective and personalized
Design Mental Health Supports
- Create a mental health team or committee to lead the charge
- Get input from teachers to ensure supports meet their needs
- Design a road map so teachers know how to recognize their triggers, name their feelings, and advocate for the support they need
- Involve all stakeholders in the process (administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community members)
- Overhaul the school culture so that everyday mental health practices are woven into how the school operates
Execute Mental Health Supports
- Provide training on mental health diagnoses, triggers, solutions, etc.
- Offer resources to educate and support staff with mental health
- Check in on teacher mental health during all partnership opportunities (ie. professional development, professional learning community meetings, monthly mentor meetings, coaching cycles, etc.)
- Pair teachers with accountability partners as a safe place to go when needing mental health support
Tips for Effective Mental Health Support
- Listen more than you try to solve a problem
- Be consistent in what you offer
- Be honest about what supports you are able to provide and help teachers find alternative options if you cannot meet their needs the way they request
Want to know more specifics about how to support the mental health of teachers? Tune in to this Clubhouse Chat Replay with Charle Peck. https://alwaysalesson.com/episodes/ch-bonus-creating-mental-health-supports-for-teachers
Looking to bring a mental health PD opportunity to your school? Check out this Leading Professional Development Bundle to get a start on planning!
GO BE GREAT!
What mental health supports do you want schools to employ?