We have put together some resources to support staff 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.
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 check-in activity - a quick exercise to look at physical, emotional and psychological self-care and identify which area might need a little more atention. You might like to complete this at the start and end of each half term
- Caregiver Worksheet - ARC (Attachment, Regulation, and Competency) exercise to help staff to reflect on a challenging time, acknowledge their feelings and reactions, and identify coping strategies
- Short wellbeing PowerPoint - to help staff identify and share ideas on how to support their own wellbeing and try practical calming activities
- Self-care toolkit - to help staff consider how to self-regulate during challenging situations
- What keeps us going – an activity to engage school staff in thinking about their own mental health and how they cope with issues that they face
- Activities to promote wellbeing and help reduce stress - mandala colouring templates, daily gratitude journal template, stress relief colouring book
- Fun, short communication exercise - to strengthen communication between staff
Self-care and information
Information and practical resources which support staff wellbeing and self-care by promoting relaxation, physical health and emotional regulation.
- APP Headspace for Educators - free for all school staff to help reduce stress, sleep soundly and be more resilient through learning the skills of meditation and mindfulness
- APP Insight timer - free app with guided meditations for sleep, anxiety and stress, free live yoga classes, insightful talks and lots of different wellbeing courses to explore
- Free resources from Calm for Schools - including a self-care guide for teachers and 30 days of mindfulness in the classroom
- Islington Schools' HR Health and wellbeing – information and signposting for physical and emotional health and wellbeing
- Checklist with self-care strategoes (PDF) - from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
- Videos with written key take away tips on seven steps to self-care and managing stress in today's world
- Five ways to wellbeing – five recommended steps from the NHS to improve mental health and wellbeing; connection; being active; learning new skills; kindness; being present
- Self-care plan – a guide to creating a self-care plan by identifying current self-care and potential ways to improve it
- Staff wellbeing resource pack (PDF) – top tips and resources from the SWS, including website and video links to support staff wellbeing
- Self-care poster – tips to protect against stress
- Practical tips for teachers and education staff to help handle stress
- Weekly wellbeing checkup poster (PDF) – try using this weekly to check in with your mental health
- Address Your Stress resources - Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) resources to help address stress, including videos on stress tips, the stress container and understanding stress
- Wellbeing resources to support educators - including practical tips for sleep, coping with stress and anxiety, being mindful in difficult times and supporting confidence and self-esteem
- Mind – Guide for employees (PDF): Wellness Action Plans (risk assessment) – a guide about how to use Wellness Action Plans (WAPs) to support and promote mental health and wellbeing at work
- Parents and carers wellbeing page - includes information on adult self-care and ideas on how to support your child's wellbeing
- 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.
- Measuring menu (PDF)
- Staff wellbeing questionnaire
- Research staff wellbeing in your school as part of an iMHARS review
- This team performance scorecard is an example of what businesses use to measure team performance. Although it is not specific for educational settings, it might be interesting for senior leaders to use to reflect on how to support their team. You might wish to get in touch to discuss your results and how we can support your school
Case studies and practical changes
These evidence-based resources include practical ideas to promote staff wellbeing and case studies showing good practice.
- Abc of compassionate leadership - information and tips to support headteacher wellbeing
- Ten low effort, low cost ideas for head teachers to consider to boost school staff’s wellbeing
- Mind: taking care of the mental health of your staff - information and resources on supporting staff mental health and promoting wellbeing
- Young Minds: caring for the wellbeing of school staff - short article that looks at causes of stress among teachers and practical ways to address this
- Anna Freud Centre: 'supporting staff wellbeing in schools' booklet (PDF) - includes guidance on what staff wellbeing is, what impacts staff wellbeing, leading a school that prioritises staff wellbeing and how to create a supportive environment for mental health
- 10 steps towards school staff wellbeing (PDF) - resource based on research findings by the Anna Freud centre, containing practical advice and good practice case studies from schools
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
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!
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.
- 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
Get in touch and we’d be happy to help.
There is a range of staff training and resources available in the staff section of the iMHARS toolkit
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