Resources to support staff in looking after their own wellbeing

It might be useful to use these practical resources at staff meetings and during training to provide opportunities for staff to reflect on their own self-care.

Adult self-regulation

To be able to help pupils understand and regulate their emotions, we need to regulate ourselves first. These resources can be used with staff to encourage self-regulation. 

Self-care and information 

Information and practical resources which support staff wellbeing and self-care by promoting relaxation, physical health and emotional regulation.

Practical ways school systems can facilitate staff wellbeing

There are many ways your school can support staff wellbeing. To help facilitate staff to better manage their own wellbeing you might:What is mental health? poster

  • listen to and consult staff opinions
  • consider school systems and the structure of the school day
  • promote opportunities for physical health and wellbeing
  • consider time management
  • display wellbeing information or posters on a wellbeing wall or notice board
  • planned and regular ways to show appreciation to staff 
  • set up a staff wellbeing team to organise events

This will look different for every school and there will be lots your school is already doing. Research suggests practical strategies which improved staff wellbeing included:

  • peer support programmes
  • encouraging regular social events among staff
  • improved communication
  • changes to work environment
  • promoting positive working relationships
  • opportunities for reflection or supervision
  • measures to reduce workload.  

Measuring staff wellbeing

The best way to find out how to support staff wellbeing is to ask them! Finding out how staff are feeling, where they already feel supported and what they find more challenging can be a good start to thinking about ways to improve overall wellbeing. You can measure this easily using one of the questionnaires below. Please contact Louise Jones if you would like further support with creating, delivering and analysing the questionnaire.

Case studies and practical changes 

These evidence-based resources include practical ideas to promote staff wellbeing and case studies showing good practice.

Workplace / organisational approaches to mental health and wellbeing 

  • Mind: guide for line managers: wellness action plans (PDF) risk assessment – a guide designed to help support staff members with their mental health at work
  • Health and wellbeing toolkits - created by Public Health England and Business in the Community to help organisations take positive actions to support the mental and physical health of its employees. The toolkits cover a range of topics, including domestic abuse, sleep, healthy eating and physical exercise 
  • Talking toolkit – conversation templates to help school leaders have practical discussions with staff around issues which may be causing stress in order to reduce it. Templates can be used with individuals or as part of group discussions and topics include; demands, control, support, relationships, role and change
  • Supporting a member of staff with mental health difficulties - advice for senior school staff on how to recognise if a staff member is struggling and how best to support them

Staff appreciation

We know you all are doing a lot to show appreciation of your staff. Here are a few different ideas which you might like to try if you need some inspiration. 

  • Notes or certificates are a great personal way to show someone you appreciate them. Handwritten feels more personal but here are some examples for inspiration
  • You might like to share the National thank a teacher campaign with your school community, so they can send an online free personalised thank you card to any staff working in school to show their appreciation   
  • You might like to publicly celebrate staff achievements on your website, in newsletters and assemblies​
  • Activities that show appreciation, such as: hot chocolate after school, no marking day, shared breakfast, leave early on a Friday, ask pupils to take gratitude cards to other teachers
  • Spend time acknowledging staff resilience through a shared reflective activity (PDF), recognise staff achievements with balloons of success(PDF) activity and celebrate staff individuality with piece of the puzzle activity(PDF)
  • Carve out a specific time in the week for staff to socialise informally and not discuss work 
  • Make it easy for staff to show appreciation for each other with staff shout outs once a week or create a thank you wall in the staff room
  • Consider if the staff room is used to relax and socialise and if needed ask for staff input on how it could be improved
  • Find more staff appreciation ideas from these school leaders 
  • Don’t underestimate the power of thank you!

Success stories!

Good practice and ideas from schools in Islington to support staff wellbeing. 

We would love to hear the wonderful ways you are supporting staff wellbeing! Please contact Louise Jones if you would like to share good practice from your school.

Further support

  • Headrest - free wellbeing telephone support for headteachers, run confidentially by ex-headteachers who are there to listen and support. Call 0800 862 0110 (Mon – Thurs, 7pm – 8pm) 
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)  - provides telephone based support any time of day as well as online resources to support your wellbeing and help you with the issues that matter to you 
  • Free counselling for education staff - trained counsellors (BACP accredited) available any time, 365 days a year, to listen without judgement and help you find a way forward, whatever your worries or concerns
  • Text 'Shout' to 85258 - for free 24/7 text support from a trained crisis volunteer to help with a range of issues including feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, relationship problems and bullying
  • Samaritans - free anytime from any phone on 116 123 for a safe space to talk about whatever you are going through 
  • Public Health England Every Mind Matters – expert advice and tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, including self-care, dealing with change and coping with money worries
  • Your mind plan – answer the five questions in this interactive quiz to get top tips and advice personalised to you
  • Support for NQTs
  • NHS mental health helpline for urgent help - 24-hour help, advice and support from a mental health professional for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for 
  • Free online NHS adult psychological therapies (IAPT) - offers talking therapies, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and help for common problems including stress, anxiety and depression
  • Cruse bereavement care - coronavirus, bereavement and grief online information, advice and support. Helpline: 0808 808 1677  
  • Islington Schools’ HR guidance on work-related stress
  • Able futures - offer nine months of confidential, no cost advice, guidance and support from mental health professionals to help you cope with work while you manage a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or stress. Apply online or by calling 0800 321 3137 
  • Apply for a confidential grant if you are suffering financial problems caused by unemployment, ill health, sudden life events, bereavement or a personal injury or call 0207 697 2772 to discuss your circumstances

Got a question?

Get in touch and we’d be happy to help. 

Staff training on supporting pupil mental health and wellbeing

There is a range of staff training and resources available in the staff section of the iMHARS toolkit

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