Mental Health Week
Mental Health Week 2020 - Take Time for Mental Health
It has been a big year and our union is encouraging all members to take time to check in with both their own and their colleagues’ mental health during Mental Health Week 2020 (10-18 October).
Mental Health Week 2020 is an opportunity for IEUA-QNT members to come together – in a safe, socially-distanced way – through events, conversations and activities to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing.
This year, mental health is a particular concern for many as COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to our ‘normal’ lives and remains so as we navigate our way back to a ‘new normal’.
It is more important than ever to take time to raise awareness of mental health, encourage our communities to look after themselves and celebrate wellbeing and recovery.
Download poster here.
Extra pressures on education staff
IEUA-QNT Organiser Caryl Rosser said that at the best of times, teachers, school support staff and principals wear many ‘hats’ and juggle many competing demands, often putting the needs of others ahead of their own.
“Add on top of this the enormous pressures of responding to COVID-19: changing learning delivery in a short amount of time, keeping schools operational and safe, looking out for the wellbeing of students and their families, supporting their own families and friends,” Caryl said.
“For some, the COVID-19 pandemic also came off the back of a devastating bushfire season and floods.
“This is why it is important for education staff to recognise all they have achieved this year, take time to evaluate how their mental health and wellbeing is going and seek support if they are in need.
“Our union is marking Mental Health Week to let members know that it’s okay to take a breather and it’s okay to not be okay.
“As a collective, if we support good mental health and wellbeing for teachers, support staff and principals, we can better support our school communities,” she said.
How we can look after our mental health
Research shows there are six simple actions we can take to improve our moods, build resilience and boost our mental wellbeing.
- Take time to take a break – you have time to pay attention to the present and the world around you, it can help relieve stress.
- Take time to get healthy – being active and eating well is good for your mind and body.
- Take time to connect – spending time with people is important to everyone’s mental wellbeing and can be done even with social distancing measures in place.
- Take time to keep learning – learning new things keeps your mind active and boosts confidence.
- Take time to embrace nature – connecting with the outdoors is great for wellbeing.
- Take time to show kindness – practising small acts of kindness, volunteering time or simply helping out a friend can help you feel more satisfied with life.
Mental Health Resources
The COVID-19 pandemic is understandably causing stress and anxiety for many people.
In addition to the support available through our union, we encourage members to seek additional support if they are in need.
Avenues for mental health support:
- Employer Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636 | www.beyondblue.org.au
- Lifeline – 13 11 14 | www.lifeline.org.au
- MindSpot – 1800 614 434 | www.mindspot.org.au
- Mensline – 1300 78 99 78 | www.mensline.org.au
- Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 | www.kidshelpline.com.au
For a full list of support resources click here.