Almost three in ten (27%) teachers have needed to see a doctor or medical professional to help with the detrimental impact on their mental and physical health caused by their job during the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has found.
23% of teachers say they have taken medication to help them cope, 12% have undergone counselling to give them extra support, while 9% use or have increased their reliance on antidepressant drugs.
These findings come as eight in ten (79%) teachers feel their job has adversely affected their mental health in the last 12 months and of those almost half (48%) said uncertainty about safety in their school was a factor.
81% of teachers responding to our survey report they have experienced an increase in workplace stress over the past year and almost half (48%) said the job had affected their physical health.
The survey also found that in the last 12 months as a result of their job:
- 87% have experienced anxiety;
- 79% have suffered from loss of sleep;
- 30% have increased their use of alcohol;
- 7% have suffered a relationship breakdown;
- 2% have self-harmed.
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“These figures are truly shocking and starkly illustrate the significant impact of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and school staff.
“It has led to a huge increase in workload and while the profession has responded with remarkable agility and professionalism, Covid-19 and the impacts on working have had a detrimental effect on teachers’ physical and mental health.
“Ministers and school employers must recognise that to deliver the programme of education recovery vital for the nation’s children and young people, teacher wellbeing has to be recognised.
“It is vital to the delivery of high-quality education as the country hopefully emerges from the pandemic in the months and years ahead.”