A spotlight on mental health support
By CACHE Product Specialist, Karina Poultney-Shaw
At the Royal Foundation’s Mental Health in Education conference, the Duchess of Cambridge told education leaders: “It is vital that we support teachers with their own wellbeing so that they can find the best level of care for all children, in their schools and communities in which they work.”
Emphasising the importance of the early years for child development and long-term health and happiness, she said: “It is also clear that the positive development of our children is directly linked to those who care for them: teachers, carers and parents.”
A Leeds Beckett University academic surveyed over 275 teachers in their first year of teaching, with results showing only 43% have definite plans to stay in the profession long term. Rising mental health problems are partly to blame - with half of newly qualified teachers saying their job has caused panic attacks or anxiety and more than a third have experienced depression.
Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, has noticed a rise of trainee teachers experiencing severe mental health problems, arguing that cuts to support services over the last decade is likely to be a factor.
Emma said: “If you are not able to take care of your own mental health, it makes you less responsive to the mental health of the children in your class.”
At CACHE, we support the motion by the Duchess of Cambridge to put a spotlight on the growing need for mental health support for teachers, so that they can lead with confidence and nurture positive mental health and wellbeing in children.
Adapting a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing can contribute to a mentally healthy school, where schools see positive mental health and wellbeing as fundamental to its values, missions and culture. Mentally Healthy Schools refers to it as an approach which involves all parts of the school working together and being committed – it needs partnership working between governors, senior leaders, teachers and all school staff, as well as parents, carers and the wider community.
CACHE has been working with the sector for a long time to develop solutions for understanding and dealing with mental health issues for the wider society. This is why we have developed a range of qualifications focusing on the understanding of mental health and awareness of mental health problems, to help educators and individuals support mental well-being through various stages of life and how to identify warning signs for mental ill-health.
In addition, educators can get free access to our continued professional development (CPD) service, CACHE Alumni. This service provides articles on mental health and well-being written by sector experts, along with advice on how to promote positive well-being.
Get in touch to find out how we can support you in dealing with mental health and well-being.