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Home > News > 2020 > April > Mental health and wellbeing support crucial during COVID-19 pandemic

Mental health and wellbeing support crucial during COVID-19 pandemic

Topics : COVID-19

Stressed_teacher_2_web.jpgThe COVID-19 pandemic is understandably causing stress and anxiety for many people.

There is significant uncertainty as to what the next period of time will bring, so it is natural to feel unsettled and emotionally vulnerable, particularly as Australia is facing the current situation off the back of a horrific fire season. 

Members are encouraged to seek support for their mental health and wellbeing as it is vital for navigating the personal and professional pressures brought to the forefront during this time. 

Extra pressure on education staff 

The COVID-19 pandemic is placing extra pressure on the entire school community as teachers and school support staff work to prepare alternate modes of curriculum delivery on top of their own personal and familial demands. 

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said that the transition to online and remote teaching is a significant transition for most and teachers and support staff are concerned about ensuring the most effective and efficient continuity of learning for students. 

“Teachers and support staff have been asked to completely change their delivery and the way they interact with students and parents,” Mr Burke said.

“This is not a small or easy task; teachers and support staff need to be supported both professionally by their employers and in their mental health and wellbeing by the whole school community. 

“It is vital we look after our teachers and support staff as they are critical in the future education of students across Australia and rebuilding the community after the crisis is over.”

Some strategies for maintaining your mental health and wellbeing

Some simple strategies to maintain your mental health and wellbeing include:

  • Giving yourself space to ‘pause’ and reflect on how you are feeling and researching ways to help you manage any increasing levels of stress and anxiety. 
  • Focusing on facts from reliable sources of information, such as government websites, and reducing consumption of excessive media ‘hype’.
  • Creating a flexible plan for yourself and those in your care such as working or schooling from home arrangements, activities to entertain the family, what will happen if a family member becomes unwell and ways to communicate with family and friends. 
  • Maintaining your physical health by trying to get regular sleep, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, drinking water and staying hydrated, connecting with loved ones and exercising regularly if possible. 

The most important thing to remember; however, is that it is okay to not be okay. 

There are many different organisations and people that you can reach out to if you need help.

In addition to the support available through our union, we encourage members to seek additional support if they are in need.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.