This World Mental Health Day, Education Support Partnership wants to remind anyone working in education that it is here to help.
In 2015 the UK's only charity providing mental health & wellbeing support services to education staff helped over 30,000 educators on a range of issues with around 9,000 needing more specialist support including counselling. Of those with mental health issues, anxiety and stress consistently remained the top concerns.
In the charity’s own annual health survey published earlier this year, 84% of respondents said they had suffered some form of mental health problem in the last two years.
This evidence illustrates the experience of many teachers that teaching can be as tough as it is rewarding but Education Support Partnership is keen to ensure that no one suffers in silence if they are struggling as a result of their work.
Teacher Laura Braun, who called the charity due to feeling increasingly miserable and suffering from panic attacks, explains what difference the support of the service made to her:
“I felt I was not being either a teacher or a mother properly. I remembered seeing an advert for the helpline and thought I’d give it a try.”
“I don’t know what I was expecting when I called, maybe a non-judgemental ear or some suggestions. The lady I spoke to was exceptional. She listened to me babble on and cry and ‘get it all out.’ She really helped me clarify how I felt. She asked me questions and didn’t rush me for answers. She made me think carefully about what I wanted to change and how.”
“I realised that my experiences are not in isolation and that others have similar experiences.”
Laura took the decision to change her working pattern to be able to put her and her family’s needs first.
Julian Stanley, Chief Executive of the Education Support Partnership commented:
“We are heartened by the fact that there is a growing understanding that good mental health is fundamental to every aspect of our lives, that prevention is better than cure, and that, by encouraging more people to feel able to talk to a professional counsellor about their problems, the world can start to look like a better place.”
“World Mental Health Day is celebrating the importance of ‘psychological first-aid,’ encouraging all of us to nurture and maintain our mental wellbeing. With workloads and pressures on teacher accountability at an all-time high, we know better than anyone that it’s important that all working in the field at every level knows that help is here.”
In addition to its helpline, Education Support Partnership also offers a range of other free support and information services including downloadable guides to maintaining wellbeing and handling stress.
The charity also works with hundreds of schools across the UK providing products and services designed to help with leadership & organisational development and to ensure the wellbeing of all staff in education.
For more information and to talk to a teacher who has benefitted from talking to Education Support Partnership about any mental health issues please contact:
Sophie.Howells@edsupportorg.uk or call 020 76972756/07751910479
Notes to Editors
Education Support Partnership is a charity established nearly 140 years ago to offer support and guidance specifically for those working in the education sector, from lunch time supervisor to teacher, from FE college tutor to University Professor and everyone in between.
We provide support regarding the emotional health, wellbeing of education staff as well as professional and organisational development. This includes a 24/7 helpline, telephone counselling, money management, grants, peer to peer support groups, coaching, employee assistance programmes, training, information and signposting.
To get support call: 08000 562 561 or to find out more or visit www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk