SUPPORTING STAFF WELLBEING AND
MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR SCHOOL
PROFESSIONAL SUPERVISION FOR SCHOOL STAFF
School staff are often supporting children with complex
behavioural, emotional, psychological and social issues on a daily basis, as well as supporting them with learning related issues.
The challenges many young people face clearly impact their ability to engage with learning, and listening and attending to these issues is part of the daily work of many school staff.
Schools are expected to provide care and support and to manage children and adolescents’ safety and emotional well being, in addition to the significant work of delivering learning.
"The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet’
Dr Naomi Rachel Remen
Thinking about, and working with, the needs of children can be emotionally demanding and present worry and stress, in addition to the pressures of ever increasing workloads. A huge number of school staff have developed mental health difficulties as a result of their jobs (YouGov, Education Support Partnership, 2017).
As counsellors who have worked in schools for several years we have seen first hand the huge pressures that staff are under. There is often little time in the day for de-stressing, reflecting and monitoring how you are doing.
In response to the need for staff support in schools we have established a service to provide professional in-school supervision for staff.
As children return to school this September after the Covid-19 lockdown, it is difficult not to imagine a tidal wave of emotional and mental health difficulties amongst children and perhaps staff too, as they adjust to the 'new normal', while continuing to live with considerable uncertainty.
It may be that their experiences during lockdown have been extremely difficult. We certainly know that there has been an increase in reports of domestic abuse during this time, and we can anticipate that children and young people may be returning to school distressed, confused and perhaps traumatised.
This will inevitably impact staff as they try to contain and manage this distress, and potentially lead to staff suffering from secondary trauma. Find out more about trauma and secondary trauma here.
Kaleidoscope Consultancy Bristol is run by two experienced supervisors, Rachel Allen and Clare Jones. Between us we have 40 years experience of working with children, young people and familes and in educational settings.