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Managing Our Mental Health

 

It’s a fact: educators are continuing to experience high levels of stress and burnout as are our students.

The amount of support during this time can significantly impact the amount of time it takes to recover from the stress response. We hope you will make the time you deserve to take care of yourselves.

NEA & The Healthy Schools Collaborative Have Published a Ten-Year Road Map to Healthy Schools

This ten-year road map covers 10 priorities for the next 10 years to create healthier schools for students.

A Truly Inclusive Conversation Between Colleagues with Disabilities

Based on their lived experiences as individuals with mental health disabilities, visual impairment and substance use disorder, they offer their advice on what employers and fellow team members can do to create a truly inclusive and stigma free workplace.

ED, HHS Issue Recommendations to Improve Young Children’s Social-Emotional Development, Mental Health

The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services issued a Dear Colleague Letter with four recommendations to equitably support the social-emotional development and mental health of young children, on June 14, 2022.

The departments intend for the recommendations and action steps to help early childhood systems work collaboratively to ensure that young children and their caregivers have access to high-quality resources.

The Dear Colleague Letter addresses state, territorial, tribal, and local policymakers and administrators of systems, agencies, and programs responsible for young children’s health and well-being, social-emotional development, and early learning.

The letter includes links to resources to support the four recommendations, which are:

  1. Implement evidence-based practices that support positive social-emotional development and mental health for all children and wellness for every caregiver.
  2. Prioritize workforce wellness and enhance workforce capacity to identify and respond to children’s and families’ social-emotional and mental health needs.
  3. Leverage policy and funding to increase access to social-emotional and mental health support and reduce barriers to access.
  4. Use data to promote equitable implementation and outcomes.

A series of videos, to be released throughout the summer and hosted on the HHS Administration for Children and Families’ website, spotlights issues for supporting young children’s mental health and well-being.

The letter, recommendations, and resources are part of ongoing work across the federal government to address mental health needs of children and their families.

Related Resources:

Wellness Strategies

Here are some ways to keep routines consistent:

  • Wake up at the same time every weekday.
  • Go to bed at a regular time.
  • Set a timer for regular breaks and meals during the day.

It’s important to stay socially connected with your friends, family, and teaching community.

Schedule a regular check-in with colleagues once a day or once a week. If you are struggling, you are not alone. It’s good to support each other during this time even if it’s through a five-minute call to say “hi” and share what’s new.

Pick up the phone and call a friend. Talking with friends and family over the phone or over an online video platform can be more beneficial than texting or social media. Venting your frustrations to a close friend can even release some of the stress you might be feeling.

 

It’s important to have outside interests other than union work and teaching. Hobbies can bring a sense of joy, accomplishment, and reduce stress. According to this article by Dr. Elizabeth Scott, research found that enjoyable activities performed during leisure time were associated with lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index, and perceptions of better physical function. Such activities were also correlated with higher levels of positive psychosocial states and lower levels of depression and negative effect.