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How We Help Your Supply Teachers Maintain Their Mental Health Wellbeing

Supply Teachers

Mental health in the workplace continues to be an important topic, and for those who support supply teachers the impact of mental health issues cannot be ignored.

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According to the Education Support Partnership, a charity that helps education staff with their mental health:

  • The number of cases coming to them has increased by 28% in just two years.
  • The number of callers clinically assessed as at risk of suicide rose by 57%, to 561 in 2018-19.
  • March 2019 was the charity’s busiest ever month, with 1,156 cases. More than half of these cases involved teachers who had been in the profession for less than 5 years.

Nationally, 31% of all teachers and 40% of NQTs have experienced a mental health issue. For the teaching profession, this is obviously a serious and urgent situation, and as a recruiter, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll find yourself managing supply teachers who need help.

Why are more teachers struggling to maintain their wellbeing?

Education Support Partnership have seen 49% more cases related to workplace stress, and while it’s not the only cause, it’s fair to conclude that the increasing demand for mental health services is related to increasing stress levels among teachers.  

What can you do to help?

If you have day to day contact with supply teachers, you might notice that they’re not coping before they become aware of the issue themselves. Staying silent can be damaging, so making yourself available, and making it clear that it’s safe to talk to you, could be a big help.

However, as good a listener as you may be, you’re not a mental health professional and it’s important that your teachers know that professional help and support is available.

Where can your supply teachers go for help?

Ideally, it makes sense to encourage your supply teachers to seek help early, before they reach a point of crisis, before their work starts to suffer, and before they begin to wonder if teaching really is the career for them.

This can be a bit of a leap, though, particularly if they feel they’re coping perfectly well right now. NHS mental health services can be difficult to access, often requiring a referral from a GP, which is a lot of trouble to go to for someone who isn’t in crisis. Many people won’t want to visit their GP, contact a charity or pay for a private service until their need is undeniable and urgent.

This is where Orange Genie’s Support and Counselling service is there to help. Trained counsellors are available 24/7 on a confidential helpline, at no cost to you or the teacher and with no usage limits at all. The service is even available online, for those who don’t want to pick up the phone.

We encourage our teacher employees to use the service whenever they think it will help, and as often as they feel the need. Because the service is free and always available, there’s no need to wait for a crisis before reaching out.

 What else can Orange Genie do to help your supply teachers?

Your supply teachers’ mental health is interconnected with their physical health and their general wellbeing. The link between a healthy, active lifestyle and healthy management of stress is well documented, and it’s obviously easier to cope with stress if you’re otherwise healthy.

Orange Genie offer a number of free benefits and services designed to help and encourage our teacher employees to improve and maintain their wellbeing, including practical help to take control of their fitness, diet, finances and mental health.

We can also help your supply teachers deal with any physical health issues, with round the clock, on demand, access to a GP, and expert help to navigate specialist NHS care.

If you have any questions or if we can help in any way, please contact our expert team on 01296 468 483 or email info@orangegenie.com.

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