"I believe our children should be cared for by teachers who are cared for, and I've set up a petition calling on the UK Government to better support the wellbeing of teachers." 

Teaching has long been a challenging, rewarding and respected profession. But increasingly, as more and more is expected of them the challenges and pressures are resulting in stressed and burnt out teachers.

Excessive planning and marking, numerous meetings after school hours, laborious assessments, unrealistic expectations of our children and teachers are commonplace. Unchecked, more and more teachers will leave the profession for better rewards and better wellbeing elsewhere.

There’s currently no requirement for schools to provide mental health support for teachers. With an average week of over 70 hours there’s very little time left for self-care. Visiting family, seeing the dentist, and the range of other activities and chores that make up day-to-day life are often pushed back until school holidays. But not everything can wait until the holidays and that’s certainly the case for work-related mental health problems. 

As an ex-teacher who now knows from personal experience how counselling can change lives, I’ve set up an online petition calling on Government to provide counselling for teachers, delivered by trained, qualified and paid practitioners.

Counselling alone can’t fix this monumental issue within the teaching profession. But access to counselling and the benefits it brings will have a significant impact on teachers and therefore on the children in their classrooms. By giving our children an education delivered by healthier and happier teachers, we will be investing in the future of society.

Much more is urgently needed for teaching to be a sustainable career again. As a psychotherapist, I’m fighting for teacher mental health because I believe happy, healthy teachers with fulfilled lives out of school are the best educators for our children and future generations.

Sign and share this petition now. Government won’t do anything without us making a lot of noise! 

Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.