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Teachers are being encouraged to turn to professionals to offload their worries

Get it off your chest, new service tells teachers

Teachers will be encouraged to talk about their problems to a qualified counsellor

Posted by Hannah Vickers | January 18, 2017 | Health & wellbeing

A new service is being launched to help reduce stress in schools by allowing teachers to offload their problems to a qualified counsellor.

Called "Get It Off Your Chest" the service encourages teachers to talk to professional counsellors about problems and issues that they may have kept to themselves for many years.

The confidential service is being launched by national counselling service Mind Matters Corporate Counselling in a bid to reduce the number of teachers suffering from mental health issues in the work place.

"Research shows that nearly half of all teachers have seen a doctor in the last 12 months as a result of work related physical or mental health problems," said David Leckie, Director of Mind Matters Corporate Counselling.

A survey of 5,000 members of the NASUWT teachers' union revealed that 79% of respondents had suffered from work related anxiety with 86% suffering from sleeplessness and 5% needing treatment in hospital.

The survey found that teachers were turning to medication, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine to help them cope.

Teachers are under tremendous pressure from heavy workloads and long working hours - David Leckie, Director of Mind Matters Corporate Counselling

Leckie said: "Teachers are under tremendous pressure from heavy workloads and long working hours.

"Part of the problem is that the majority of teachers don't talk to others about their situation and overtime, the worry and stress festers and can develop into a potentially serious mental health issue.

"We are providing an opportunity for teachers to talk with an independent professional counsellor about the issues that are affecting them be it personal, family or work related.

"There is a lot of truth in the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved, but if an issue is left unresolved the outcome can often lead to depression or nervous breakdown."

Leckie added: "There is a strong business case for schools and colleges to promote good mental health for all staff. Promoting wellbeing leads to greater staff productivity, morale and reduced sickness absence."

Mind Matters is engaged by some of the UK's biggest companies to provide counselling services for their staff and has a 600 strong team of counsellors.

Schools and colleges can register for a free initial consultation for their staff at www.mindmatterscounselling.org.uk.

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