NASUWT 2018 Annual Conference - Teachers’ Mental Health and Wellbeing

One of the most successful motions at this year’s NASUWT 2018 Annual Conference was that which focussed on the wellbeing of teachers.

Most of the time in the second public session on Sunday 31 March was spent debating the motion, although there were no speakers against the motion. Conference acknowledged that this issue is of vital importance in the day to day lives of teachers whilst carrying out their duties in the classroom and in schools.

There were several emotional speeches from delegates outlining their experiences, where their mental health has been steadily eroded and their confidence has been shattered, often by the failure of school leaders to provide a duty of care to staff with regards to their health and mental wellbeing. One colleague from another association in the North East spoke of her experience of being under so much pressure that she took an overdose at her desk.

Our colleague was lucky – she received help and support, both from her employer and from outside agencies. But there are many staff who either do not get this help from their employers, or are sometimes put in this situation of declining mental health because of the actions of head teachers and leaders.

The NASUWT strives to promote good mental health and wellbeing, and in our region, we have two officers in North Northumberland association who are trained Mental Health First Aid, along with others in schools who have attended the excellent mental first aid course, from MHFA England.

The association urges members who are experiencing mental health issues to seek help from the association, who can advise on steps to gain help and access outside agencies. In addition, look out for courses and wellbeing days run by our own association and North East Regional Centre.

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