The pandemic has had a serious impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the entire nation, with us all having to adjust and find ways of coping with the sudden and dramatic changes wrought as a result of the crisis.
Teachers in particular have been affected over the last few weeks and months with the return to school, with anxiety levels soaring, as well as feelings of exhaustion and fear, all of which have apparently led many to consider quitting their jobs or even self-harm, the Guardian reports.
The news source called on those in the sector to get in touch to share their experiences, with more than 200 contacting the paper to tell their stories of 2020.
Many of them reported living in constant fear of catching covid-19 in school, working in establishments that are overstretched and understaffed, being unfairly targeted by some media platforms and of feeling abandoned by the government.
Others described having to deal with the fears and frustrations of parents, as well as anxiety and disillusionment among their students. The number of pupils experiencing mental health conditions and being referred to treatment has increased, as well.
One Lancashire-based teacher said: “Morale among most of my colleagues is extremely low and there are many staff, including myself, considering handing in our notice. We feel like we’ve been completely abandoned by this government.”
And another made further comments, saying: “I feel ignored and voiceless. My concerns about safety and workload are dismissed, my emails are unanswered, my worries mount and I’m expected to carry on as normal. I’m losing the battle to stay positive.”
Calls have been made recently for schools in England to take similar action as those in Wales and make the move to online learning for the final week of term to help reduce infection rates and ensure that staff and students don’t have to self-isolate from the rest of their family over Christmas.
Teachers are also worried about the mental health of their students, as well as their own. Recent research from High Speed Training found that 81 per cent of teachers expect mental health conditions among pupils to increase over the coming academic year, yet 28 per cent of schools are yet to update their safeguarding policies to reflect the needs of the students.
It was found that pupils in key stage three are of the most concern to teachers, with educators expecting to see bigger drops in mental health and an increase in safeguarding issues compared to other age groups.
If you are struggling at the moment, it can be really helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, rather than going it alone. If you’d like to find out more about online mindfulness therapy, get in touch with The Mindful Therapist today.