Mental wellbeing is a significant emerging issue in the global workforce, including Australia’s Education Sector.
Stress and emotional exhaustion in classrooms are topical in today’s schools, as teachers and support staff struggle to cope with growing workloads, challenging workplace conditions and challenging student behaviour.
The stats speak for themselves:
- Over half of Australian teachers report anxiety and nearly one fifth have experienced depression.
- An estimated 40 per cent of graduate teachers quit the profession within the first five years of starting.
- Challenging workplace conditions has meant teachers can be more prone to work-related stress, burnout and general psychological distress when compared to other occupations.
- Compared to the general population, principals experience higher levels of emotional labour demands (1.7 times higher than the general population), burnout (1.6 times higher), stress symptoms (1.7 times higher), difficulty sleeping (2.2 times higher), and depressive symptoms (1.3 times higher).
How can we support change?
Moving Mindz is proud to have partnered with EduHealth Solutions to present the inaugural National Schools Challenge on April 15, 2020.
The National Schools Challenge is a fun team-based program that facilitates improvement in physical and mental health for teachers and school personnel.
During the 50-day physical activity challenge, Moving Mindz scientifically measures and evaluates various health aspects of the workplace, including changes in mental health.
At the end of the event, schools receive a comprehensive report providing insight into employees’ stress levels, mental wellbeing, loneliness and happiness levels.
These analytical insights can be used to guide a school’s approach to mental health and to devise ongoing strategies to improve the mental health of teachers.
“The ramifications of our program for the education sector are enormous,” Moving Mindz CEO Shane Bilsborough said.
“Imagine being able to understand and evaluate the mental health of your teachers and staff, and how your school compares to others across the country.
“This program is truly game-changing.”
EduHealth Solutions’ mission is to grow happier and healthier schools nationally – a vision that aligns with the Moving Mindz brand.
“There hasn’t been a concerted effort to get data within the education sector, to get a feel for where teachers sit on the scale for stress and wellbeing, compared to the corporate world,” EduHealth Solutions director Damien Cairns said.
“To be able to measure where they actually fit and compare with other sectors – non-government schools, state schools, country versus city schools, is huge.
“We don’t know where a school is in terms of its happiness, loneliness, resilience and all those measures that Moving Mindz looks at, and we need to know this so that the school can work on improving those measures.
“For example, if a school scores low on loneliness, they can develop measures to make it more community-based.”
Mr Cairns encouraged school principals to embrace the National Schools Challenge.
“Eventually we’ll be able to take the information to higher levels to rally for funding for teachers who need support,” he said.
“The more schools we can get on board, the more real the data will be and the more weight it will carry to get funding, but the first step is to get the baseline data, so that we know what we’re dealing with.
“Along the way, the teachers who participate will get a direct benefit through their fitness, the social aspect and the associated mental health benefits.”
The National Schools Challenge kicks off on April 15 at a cost of $59 + GST per participant.
To find out more and/or to register your interest, contact National Schools Challenge Event Manager Matt Jones:
M: 0421 700 094