Looking After Yourself & Each Other in Education Settings

    Created in partnership with Education Support

Knowledge and understanding of ourselves and each other, our relationships, are at the heart of good support. Some people call this being psychologically aware.

Being psychologically aware supports positive social connectedness, which in turn builds wellbeing and grows resilience. It is important to recognise how this complements the duty on employers of education staff to look after their health, safety and welfare.

This set of top tips from our international panel of health and education experts, adapted for the education workforce are to help you:

  • Look after yourself and build support with colleagues, growing resilience across your setting
  • Promote and support staff wellbeing
  • Build understanding of stress, recovery and trauma
  • Reduce risk of burn-out

There are two main sections: ‘things to do’ and ‘things to know’. Use this resource as works for you. The headline tips give quick access advice, the drop-downs beneath each tip provide more detail.

Things to Do: 

Look after yourself, that is essential, so you can then look after others

With colleagues, encourage social connectedness in those around you. Every interaction matters as a team member/leader

Within our community, reflect on the impact of distress on families and how this may affect staff

Be sensitive to the feelings of others

One antidote to stress is kindness

Nurture hope - it helps us cope

It’s ok not to be ok

Professional supervision can support an educational role and personal wellbeing

Prioritise your time for the supervision

Listening Skills: things to remember 

Listen very carefully, using body language that encourages and supports your colleague

Be part of a team that welcomes training and information

Make sure you know the system for debriefing staff following an incident

Be honest and prepare together - risk assessment in action

Encourage responsibility, not blame

Things to know

Knowing who to speak with

Thinking patterns

Psychosocial resilience

How to explain some of the language of stress and recovery

Stress - this occurs when the external demands made on us exceed the resources we have available to manage them

Repetitive stress - ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’

Traumatic stress - this refers to events that are often sudden and shocking

Learn what stress is and what clinical depression and anxiety look like

Resources 

Within Education Settings

Education focused external resources

Other support groups and caring organisations you may find helpful include:

References

Acknowledgements

The content for these tips was written and edited by Dr Raphael Kelvin and Dr Julie Greer. They draw upon the suite of tips on the MindEd Hub and input from our reference groups of healthcare and education setting experts, to whom we are most grateful.

Education Reference Group: John Dexter, John Ivens, Margaret Mulholland, Steve Rippin, Jason Turner

Wider Stakeholder Group: Sinéad Mc Brearty, Faye McGuinness, Joanna Holmes, Lisa Shostack, Mina Fazel, Andy Bell, Ray McMorrow, Sarah Hannifan, James Brown, DFE (Emma Woodshaw), Sarah Lyons, Steve Cooper

© 2022 Education Support Limited, MindEd / Royal College of Psychiatrists and Health Education

Further support is available from NHS England.

Disclaimer

This document provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this document, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read in this document or in any linked materials. If you think you may have an emergency, call an appropriate source of help and support such as your doctor or emergency services immediately.

MindEd is created by a group of organisations and is funded by Health Education England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education.

elfh is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies.

© 2021 MindEd / Royal College of Psychiatrists and Health Education England 

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