Mental Health: Has Occupational Health ever been needed more?

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Over the last few months I have become increasingly aware of the effects of stress on professionals who care for society’s most vulnerable – teachers, nurses, doctors, the list is seemingly endless

Since schools started back at the start of September, I have read about headteachers resigning, teachers being bullied, an increase in advertising of the excellent Education Support Partnershipteaching

There will be a knock-on effect for those remaining in the workplace, as staff shortages have to be covered or temporary staff need supporting and supervising, adding to the already heavy workload.

Back in 2000, I was involved in a stress risk management pilot for an inner city LEA.  We found some practical and practicable solutions to help schools to identify and resolve their organisational stressors and build stronger team relationships:

  • Matrix model to explore each type of stressor with a scoring system to enable priorities to be ranked;
  • Small generic assessment groups by job type, e.g. Teachers, Teaching / Learning support assistants (TA)s, Key stage (KS), Faculty / Subject group, Administration, Senior management team (SMT);
  • Feedback to the SMT with priorities highlighted for inclusino in the school development plan.

Does your workplace have a stress risk assessment in place?  If not, there are a number of excellent resources out there, which I will list at the bottom of this page.

So, how can Occupational Health help – aren’t they just there to see people who are off sick and help management get them back to work?

If you are a manager and have a member of staff experiencing difficulty at work or off sick with a condition, you may find the manager’s resource page helpful.

Stress risk assessment templates:

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