- August, 22 2016
- Kathleen Qu, M.Sc
School is just around the corner. At the forefront of this season are advertisements about back to school supplies and academic articles about the stress and mental health concerns of students. Often left behind are the mental health needs of educators and their support network. Scarcely found in research are reports on the needs of teachers and the prevalence of mental health concerns in the profession.
In 2015, the American Federation of Teachers released a survey reporting the Quality of Worklife among educators. The survey found that over 78% of educators expressed overwhelming levels of stress from the workplace yet only 17% of teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years. This provides a glimpse for understanding an important contributor to students’ academic success: teachers’ mental health.
The factors affecting the mental health of educators is multifaceted and influenced by both how stress manifests in the workplace, and how teachers deal with stress. A lack of resources, personal time to recharge, and lack of mental health literacy can cause an educator to experience burnout or fall into critical mental health conditions. This in turn heavily affects their abilities to educate and support students in their academic journeys.
Helping educators to be conscientious and empowered to address their own mental health concerns is a first step to facilitating healthy learning environments and for fostering healthy relationships in the classroom. An approach that incorporates evidence based practices that are made accessible to teachers without stigmatizing their needs sets the basis for building a healthy mind and a healthy classroom.
Follow the Link for the full American Federation of Teachers Survey Report.
Full Article Link: http://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/worklifesurveyresults2015.pdf