Concern over ‘grim statistics’ on teacher mental health

Scottish education secretary John Swinney has admitted the number of teachers struggling with their mental health is “extremely worrying”.

Almost two-thirds of teachers in a survey published by the NASUWT in May said their mental health had been affected because of their work in the last year. More than three quarters said workplace stress had risen.

According to the research, 75 per cent have been affected by anxiety in the last 12 months because of their job, with 83 per cent suffering sleeping problems. Just over a fifth said they were drinking more alcohol, almost one in 10 has seen a relationship break down and two per cent have self-harmed.

Questioned about the findings in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Swinney said: “No teacher should feel like their job adversely affects their mental health. Wellbeing, both mental and physical, affects us all and should be rightly taken seriously. These survey findings are therefore extremely worrying. Local authorities as employers have a duty of care for all of their staff, including teachers.”

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