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Ensure support structures are clearly identified and signposted

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On this page you can find information about:

  • how you can support staff who may be struggling with their mental health

  • other organisations that can provide help and guidance.



As we have seen in our other supporting staff pages, school and college staff are at high risk of stress.  

It is highly likely that there will be many people in your setting who have experienced a mental health difficulty at some stage in their life.  This means that it is important to be able to offer universal, targeted and specialist external support pathways across your school or college.  

These should be visible to all staff and easy for them to access. Schools and colleges should communicate regularly and clearly to all staff about support programmes available both within the setting and outside of the setting, like local or national services.

Communicating support for staff

Communicating support structures for staff can be done in a variety of ways, for example: 

  • ensuring that signage in your setting is clear and accessible, for example via a noticeboard or screen in your staff areas


  • signposting to mental health and wellbeing support in staff inductions, trainings, bulletins, and on staff intranet pages


  • collating a list or directory of external support services and making this easily available to staff.


Universal support for all staff can include: 

  • having a staff mental health and wellbeing policy (this could be included in a school-wide policy, or be a separate document)


  • using feedback boxes where staff can anonymously share ideas for improvement of school and college ethos, and model good working practices


  • holding drop-in sessions with the senior leadership team for staff who have any concerns about their mental health


  • dedicating a safe space for staff to take some time out



  • encouraging a sense of community with non-work-related social activities


  • senior leadership modelling good working practices and self-care to encourage work/life balance.


Targeted support for staff, particularly for those with responsibility for mental health can include: 

  • supervision


  • mental health training


  • regular mandatory wellbeing check-in meetings for all staff using a peer-support model


  • wellbeing events for staff.


Specialist support for staff (particularly for those who may be struggling with their mental health) can include: 

  • employee assistance programmes (Education Support offers one)


  • crisis support


  • referrals to occupational health.


Our Mentally Healthy Schools team have identified some  tips  for supporting a member of staff who may be struggling with their mental health. 


  • Template staff signposting poster

    Print this poster and display in staff rooms with information for staff on where to access support.

  • Education support helpline

    Education support helpline

    The charity for the education workforce offers free, confidential help and support for school staff, and run a helpline on 08000 562 561.

  • Mental Health at Work

    Mental Health at Work

    This website collates documents, guides, tips, videos, courses, podcasts, templates and information from key organisations across the UK, all aimed at helping individuals and organisations get to grips with workplace mental health.