Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

As Covid-19 continues

As we move into the relaxation of Covid restrictions, here are the NHS’s 11 tips to cope with anxiety about coming out of lockdown which you might find useful.

You can read about what we are doing at the Education and Training Foundation to support staff wellbeing in Wellbeing in the Workplace, a new report by the Professional Associations Research Network. Nicola Martin talks about a whole range of organisational and staff led initiatives on page 17. Take a look at the guidance for colleges on mental health and wellbeing from the Department of Education (DfE).

And have you checked out the Let’s Chat website? There are resources and support for both staff and learners to make sure you look after your mental health. This is just one example of the sector supporting the sector through the college collaboration funds and the ETF is delighted to be supporting these. Tell us what you think about Let’s Chat by completing this short survey.

New support service for new teachers and trainers in Further Education

We know from research with our SET members that newly qualified teachers and trainers are more likely to experience poor wellbeing in the first two years of starting work. Our new support service for practitioners new to the Further Education (FE) sector is here to help. Via a telephone helpline or email, the new service will support FE teachers and trainers by providing a place to ask questions or discuss issues that they may not wish to raise in the workplace.

The telephone line, which is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, is 0333 103 8401.

The email address is: newfeteacher@etfoundation.co.uk.

Centre for Excellence in SEND

Living and working in the twenty-first century can leave you feeling frazzled. And if you’re working in FE supporting learners to achieve their aspirations, developing the skills for the future workforce and coping with the demands of the workplace, this is particularly so.

Our Centre for Excellence in SEND at Weston College with its theme of people has a particular focus on looking after both staff and learners’ wellbeing. Although the Centre is part of our SEND offer, much of the activity relates to all learners and staff in the FE sector. You’ll find recorded webinars on Centres for Excellence in SEND page and many more new activities coming up. All of them are free of charge, so do sign up.

Leading mental health and wellbeing in the Further Education sector

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) worked with Stuart Rimmer, CEO of East Coast College Group, to curate a group of leaders from across the sector to explore in a conversation key aspect of wellbeing and the challenges this brings in leadership. Read the article and listen to full podcast

Other useful organisations

There are many expert organisations with a range of support for the workforce to tap into. We are developing partnerships to ensure that those working in FE can benefit from this support.

Education Support is the only charity that supports the mental health and wellbeing of all education staff. They offer a free and confidential helpline which is available 24/7 and staffed by qualified counsellors as well as grants to those experiencing a financial crisis.

In October 2018, Education Support released the findings of a survey into the mental health of the education sector which includes responses from people working in the FE and Training sector. In February 2019, we’ve commissioned the charity to investigate the levels of staff wellbeing in the post-14 workforce. This research also aimed to identify specific groups of staff at different career stages who have the highest risk of poor wellbeing and to understand the work-related and personal factors impacting on wellbeing.

You might also like to take a look at the Mental Health at Work gateway which is an amalgamation of the most effective resources to support mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. You can filter by sector including education and teaching to find the most relevant resources.

And to help you to support your learners, The Self Esteem Team is an organisation led by young people who have lived experience of poor mental health.  They have collated a whole range of resources for young people to support them to have and maintain good mental health.

For organisations offering apprenticeships, you will find modules on promoting positive mental health for all as part of the equality, diversity and inclusion course on Foundation Online Learning (see the Future Apprenticeships area).

Our Associate, Neil Bates, wrote about the importance of mental health support for leaders – read his FE Week article.

Finally, we all know the positive impact of learning upon mental health and emotional wellbeing, and findings from the recent study into the impact of adult and community learning reinforce this message. You can read the findings.