We have detected you are using Internet Explorer. To provide the best and most secure experience, please use a modern browser as we do not support Internet Explorer.

School Teachers: The Forgotten Frontline Workers of COVID-19

School teachers have been hit hard by COVID-19. Since the start of 2020, teaching roles and demands have changed significantly. One key change was the rapid addition of new online methods of teaching. This was crucial to cater for students still in the classroom and those who had to learn at home during lockdowns or quarantine.

If you need help, please call

  • Lifeline- 13 11 14
  • BeyondBlue - 1300 22 4636
  • Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
Suicide Call Back Service Online Chat

Schools and teachers were the backbone of the community during this time, allowing other families to continue working and provide essential services.

 

The Forgotten Frontline:

We do not really know how teachers were affected by COVID-19 and how they have been coping. We addressed this in an article recently published in Australasian Psychiatry. In summary, early research shows two patterns:

  • Anxiety, depression, stress, post-traumatic stress symptoms, burnout, exhaustion, and sleep are problematic for teachers; and
  • In times of emergency, teachers with pre-existing mental health conditions fare worse than those without prior mental health conditions.

 

These results are concerning, and a spotlight must now be turned to the teaching community.

Focusing on teacher mental health is not only necessary to secure the teaching workforce into the future, but to also protect and support the healthy development of their students. 

To help address the mental health of teachers, we recommend:

  • Further research to identify and target areas of need
  • Development and roll-out of evidence-based programs
  • Proactive disaster planning from Education Departments
  • School-level resourcing to support new online and hybrid learning
  • Targeted funding to support teacher’s mental health

 

Effective change is needed at multiple levels, with support from Education Departments, school leadership, and communities alike.

Get involved:

Our team at the Black Dog Institute recognise that supporting Australian teachers is vitally important. We are currently developing a mental health program for teachers, with teachers at the centre of the process guiding what needs to be done and how. If you are interested in finding out more or want to be involved, please contact [email protected].

 

 

{{commentCount}} comment(s). You must be logged in and AHPRA verified to view and comment. LOG IN

Dr Joanne Beames

 Dr Joanne Beames, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Clinical Psychology Registrar, Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales

The latest healthcare news from medcast

Clinical Opal #5 - Red eye
Clinical Opal #5 - Red eye

Fatima is a 53-year-old human resources manager who presents to you with a 24-hour history of a painful red left eye.

Grants for GPs & Nurses - are you eligible?
Grants for GPs & Nurses - are you eligible?

To help lessen the financial burden of keeping up with CPD, rural and remote health professionals (MMM 3-7) who would normally be required to travel considerable distances to attend courses, can access a range of state-based funding.

Helping new mums during COVID
Helping new mums during COVID

How one small not-for-profit in Sydney is helping new mums during Covid-19.

Clinical Opal #4 - Cough and fever
Clinical Opal #4 - Cough and fever

Jill is a 64-year-old retired accountant who presents to you with her concerned husband, Michael. Jill is usually fit and well apart from a history of well controlled hypertension on perindopril.

Training with Cognitive Aids
Training with Cognitive Aids

By using a well structured and easy to follow aid, the risk of error is reduced and evidence based practice is more likely to be actioned.

A GP's perspective: What I learned at the recent free Hot Topics webinar - Asthma
A GP's perspective: What I learned at the recent free Hot Topics webinar - Asthma

Hot Topics free webinar presenter in New Zealand discovers children with asthma admissions aren't necessarily recorded in practice.

Clinical Opal #3 - Sudden hearing loss
Clinical Opal #3 - Sudden hearing loss

Adam is a 34-year-old maths teacher who is usually fit and well, with no significant past medical history.

What trans kids need from health care professionals
What trans kids need from health care professionals

Our bad experiences of mental health care with health professionals

Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA)
Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA)

Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA) has become an increasingly popular choice for anaesthesia, as alternatives to volatile agents. Surgical technique advancements and increasing utilisation of day hospital centres have created an environment wher...

Clinical Opal #2 - Painful Leg
Clinical Opal #2 - Painful Leg

Dave is a 33-year-old carpenter who presents to you with a painful red leg.

Coping with Covid: my report card says “Could do better”
Coping with Covid: my report card says “Could do better”

What have we learned from the last lockdown? Does having a job and being an introvert make it any easier?

Clinical Opal #1 - Medications for Anxiety
Clinical Opal #1 - Medications for Anxiety

Harriet is a 22-year-old university student who presents to you with severe anxiety.

School Teachers: The Forgotten Frontline Workers of COVID-19
School Teachers: The Forgotten Frontline Workers of COVID-19

School teachers have been hit hard by COVID-19. Since the start of 2020, teaching roles and demands have changed significantly. One key change was the rapid addition of new online methods of teaching. This was crucial to cater for students sti...

Music as therapy – and not just for us!
Music as therapy – and not just for us!

“What a night...we needed it!” This was one of many responses to a musical soiree I held at our home on a Sunday evening in late May. The flood in expressions of gratitude reflected how much we all valued playing and reconnecting. This was an in...

Emergencies in General Practice
Emergencies in General Practice

Kids have been falling out of trees ever since there were kids (and trees). As a result, head trauma has been a common childhood injury for millennia.

Perioperative Anaphylaxis
Perioperative Anaphylaxis

Once anaphylaxis has been identified, immediate treatment is required to stop the allergic cascade from producing histamines, prostaglandins and cytokines, and manage the effects of these agents. Management will include immediate treatment, refrac...

Writing Our Stress Away
Writing Our Stress Away

As you may know, I’m a big fan of writing as a stress management tool. There’s even evidence to support the idea!

Why you should use an ABCDE approach to patient assessment
Why you should use an ABCDE approach to patient assessment

The ABCDE approach is the most recognised tool for rapid patient assessment, it allows us to recognise life-threatening conditions early and provides a systematic method that focuses on identifying problems and implementing critical interventions ...

Tips for integrating digital mental health into clinical practice
Tips for integrating digital mental health into clinical practice

In late 2020, I was lucky enough to start in a new role at The Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety & Depression (CRUfAD) at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. This was the year in which there were many challenges and barriers to accessing mental health ...

Working Towards Wellbeing – Mental Health Skills Videos for the Time Poor
Working Towards Wellbeing – Mental Health Skills Videos for the Time Poor

Do you ever struggle with explanations around mental health interventions? Do you need to learn some interventions that may be useful in your own life?

Join Medcast. It's free and you'll get instant access to essential healthcare news, research and more.

Already a member? Log In