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This page includes information about:

  • how you can support staff who may be struggling with mental health
  • other organisations that can help

Context

As we have seen in our previous 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 school or college 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 the 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 school, and outside of the school, for example any 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 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
  • having clearly signposted areas for additional support and advice

Universal support for all staff can include:

  • Staff mental health and wellbeing policy (this could be included in a school-wide policy, or be a separate document)
  • Feedback boxes where staff can share anonymously ideas for improvement of school ethos and model good working practices
  • Drop-in sessions with the senior leadership team for staff how have any concerns about their mental health
  • Dedicated space for staff to take some time out (see our Create a safe environment with designated 'safe spaces' for pupils and staff action)
  • 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, for example, regular yoga sessions

Specialist support 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.

Resources

Template staff signposting poster

Print this poster and display in staff rooms with information for staff.

Education Support Helpline

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

Mental Health at Work

This website was curated by Mind, supported by The Royal Foundation. It is a first stop to find 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.

Mentally Healthy Schools

These pages from our Mentally Healthy Schools site includes information about how to identify early signs of mental health difficulties and responding to a colleague who says they are unwell.

Reframing thoughts activity This simple template can be used by anyone to identify unhelpful or negative thoughts, and try to reframe them in order to reduce their feelings of distress or anxiety.

Case study

Create an account and login to access and update your personalised 5 Steps action plan

New or Existing user Register or Login

More information about 5 Steps and easy to follow instructions

User Guide

Find out more about our trainings for Schools and FE Colleges

Training

Schools that successfully implemented the 5 Steps Framework

Practice Examples

Access videos and materials from our 5 Steps seminars

Seminars

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