Students’ mental health is at the forefront of the education world. With CARES Act funding earmarked for mental health services and new resources recommended by the Department of Education, schools have never had more opportunities to prioritize mental wellness. But there’s one major component of creating safe and healthy schools that often goes overlooked: educator mental health.
According to a recent report published by the Department of Education, “Educator wellness is associated with child and student wellness. Educators who provide emotional support and establish positive relationships influence children’s and students’ health, overall mental wellness, and life satisfaction.” The connection between student and educator mental wellness is important, but it’s not the only reason educators deserve to have time and resources dedicated to their needs.
Empathy fatigue is on the rise. Educators are the pillars of their schools, requiring them to bear the brunt of the challenges related to the pandemic. After a couple of years of transitions, isolation, uncertainty, and unrest, it’s no wonder that educators are reporting feeling burned out. Research shows that experiencing high levels of stress can trigger anxiety and depression, increasing the likelihood of needing treatment for mental health disorders. Symptoms from these disorders can directly impact an educator’s ability to function in both their personal and professional lives.
Needless to say, it’s more important than ever to build capacity to support educator mental health. There are a variety of ways to achieve this, including:
- Building in wellness and mindfulness time during the school day
- Allowing educators to take a mental health day when needed
- Creating safe spaces where educators can communicate with peers about their thoughts and feelings
- Offering low or no-cost therapy services to educators as well as students
If you’re considering incorporating therapy services into your wellness offerings for educators, Gaggle Therapy can help. We’re now providing staff therapy to educators at no cost to them. Educators can anonymously self-refer to be matched with a therapist for ongoing video sessions. All information is kept confidential and all records are managed on a HIPAA-compliant system separate from the district.
To learn more about staff therapy, speak to a Gaggle Therapy representative today. Mental health is as important as physical health. To have educators feeling and teaching their best, it’s important to make sure they’re well.