The NASUWT, one of ETUCE’s member organisations in the UK, have conducted a study on the mental and physical health of teachers. The research found that 30% of teachers say they have turned to medication in the last 12 months to deal with the physical and mental toll their job is taking on them. 40% have seen a doctor or medical professional, while 15% say they have undergone counselling. The issue appears to be worsening, with 78% of teachers reporting that they have experienced an increase in work-related stress over the past 12 months (2017-2018).

The survey also found that in the last 12 months as a result of their job:

  • 77% of teachers have experienced anxiety;
  • 85% of teachers have suffered from loss of sleep;
  • 22% of teachers have increased their use of alcohol;
  • 9% of teachers have suffered a relationship breakdown;
  • 3% of teachers have self-harm.

This is causing serious problems for the mental and physical wellbeing of teachers and teaching as a profession, with 56% of teachers saying that their job satisfaction has declined in the last 12 months and 65% saying they have seriously considered leaving the teaching profession within the last year.

In ETUCE the physical and mental wellbeing of teachers a high priority, with employers and governments needing to take action to ensure that teachers are protected from becoming ill . ETUCE continues working on this issue and supports the work carried out by its member organisations at national level in this field. At present ETUCE is developing with EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) an Online Interactive Risk Assessment Tool for the education sector to lead to better occupational health and safety practices. This project draws on previous social dialogue projects on the prevention of psychosocial risks and work-related stress and the Joint Practical Guidelines on How to Promote Joint Social Partner Initiatives at European, National, Regional and Local Level to Prevent and Combat Psychosocial Hazards in Education.

To read the full NASUWT research article, click here.