Three in ten teachers (30%) say they have turned to medication in the last 12 months to deal with the physical and mental toll their job is taking on them, a survey by the NASUWT - The Teachers’ Union, has found.
More than four in ten (41%) have seen a doctor or medical professional, while 15% say they have undergone counselling.
These findings come as more than three quarters (78%) of teachers report they have experienced an increase in workplace stress over the past 12 months, with more than four out of five (84%) saying their job has impacted negatively on their health and wellbeing over the last year.
Nearly two thirds (65%) of teachers also feel their job has adversely affected their mental health and over half (54%) feel it has affected their physical health in the last 12 months.
The survey also found that in the last 12 months as a result of their job:
- 77% have experienced anxiety;
- 85% have suffered from loss of sleep;
- 22% have increased their use of alcohol
- 9% have suffered a relationship breakdown;
- 3% have self-harmed.
Teachers’ mental health and wellbeing has been balloted as the top motion at the NASUWT’s Annual Conference and Representatives will today debate a motion highlighting the increasing number of teachers suffering serious mental health problems as a result of workplace bullying and the pressure of workload.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“These figures are an appalling catalogue of dedicated and committed teachers suffering damage to their physical and mental health.
“It is clear that too many employers are failing to exercise their duty of care for the health and welfare of their employees and are presiding over mental and physical burnout.
“It is nothing short of a national scandal that those who are dedicating themselves to giving a future to children and young people are seeing their own lives damaged by the failure of government and employers to take their health and welfare seriously.
“The time has come to end the culture of the “anything goes” style of management where any adverse impact on teachers is regarded as collateral damage.”