Staff Wellbeing

Staff wellbeing should be a priority for any organisation – especially post-pandemic. According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in six employees experience mental ill health each year, and the Centre for Mental Health has estimated that at least half a million more people in the UK will experience a mental health difficulty over the next year.

And wellbeing isn’t just mental health – it also encompasses physical wellbeing, financial wellbeing, social wellbeing, and more.

The wellbeing and morale of staff plays a huge role in the overall feel and wellbeing of the school and is an essential factor in providing the best support and teaching to pupils. Recognising the importance and prioritising staff wellbeing by providing the right environment, support structures and processes, schools can help to minimise stress, help staff feel valued, and increase job satisfaction. In creating a culture and ethos that looks after wellbeing, it is also important that this is role modelled to pupils by adults in the school, and indeed to staff by Senior Leadership.  

School staff are drawn to work with children through compassion, to make a difference to those in their care but it is worth remembering that the most important person to take care of is yourself, so you have the energy to care for others.

Lady reading a book with a young boy

Learning and Development Opportunities

When working with others, we need to recognise we also have mental health and wellbeing needs. The Torbay Council, Mental Health page has a list of courses that are either free, funded or require a fee to attend.

These courses aim to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. They will build your capacity to support the mental health of others. Some courses will help to support your own mental health and others will link to and/or provide peer support and lived experience throughout.


Click here to visit the Torbay Council Mental Health page


How schools can support Staff Wellbeing

  • Create a culture and ethos that is positive and motivational  
  • Foster trusting, empathetic, and caring relationships  
  • Communicate frequently and effectively and encourage this between staff  
  • Provide frequent opportunities for feedback and listen to staff needs  
  • Provide staff with opportunities to engage in self-care activities  
  • Promote and facilitate good health and wellbeing activities amongst staff e.g., remain hydrated, promote good nutrition, encourage group activities, develop buddying system 
  • Be alert to signs of stress and pressure amongst staff  
  • Rolemodel the culture and ethos wanted in the staff community  
  • Acknowledge effort, successes, and hard work  
  • Provide reflective spaces to work through challenges and difficult situations 
  • Ensure staff are provided with the skills and training they need to deliver what is asked

The Mentally Healthy Schools website has dedicated pages relating to staff wellbeing, including useful guidance around developing policies, strategies and ideas on how to create a supportive environment for all staff.

The Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families has also produced a Guide to Supporting Staff Wellbeing containing information about what school staff and senior leaders can do to support their own and their colleagues' wellbeing.

Additional Support

Education Support is the UK's only charity providing mental health and wellbeing support services to all education staff and organisations. They champion good mental health and wellbeing of teachers, lecturers, school leaders, support staff and prison educators throughout their careers and during retirement as well as supporting education leaders with a wide range of tools to help improve professional and organisational development too. Their support includes a 24 hour helpline 08000 562 561, grants, and support to develop a healthy and nurturing workplace.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists - Provides a terrific range of leaflets about emotional health and wellbeing and mental health for teachers, young people and parent/carers.

NHS One You Mental Health - There are times when we feel stressed, low or anxious, or have trouble sleeping. But there are things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing. Get expert advice, practical tips and a personalised action plan via the website and Every Mind Matters campaign.

CALM - The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have lots of really helpful ideas and resources to help us all find our way through these difficult times. They aim to help people get through moments of crisis (but understand that not everyone wants to learn to play the oboe during lockdown!). They also have a telephone helpline open every day from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year. Remember - Being silent isn't being strong.

Schools in Mind - A free network for school staff and allied professionals, which shares academic and clinical expertise regarding the wellbeing and mental health issues that affect schools. The network provides a trusted source of up-to-date and accessible information and resources that school leaders, teachers and support staff can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care.

Qwell - (delivered by Kooth), provides all adults aged 18+, living in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay with access to free online digital mental health and wellbeing support. It is safe and an anonymous mental health and wellbeing online service. No referrals are required and there are no thresholds required to access the service.

Staff wellbeing can improve performance and job satisfaction, which can lead to reduced staff turnover. It can also help to reduce absence (both short and long term), increase productivity and promote staff engagement.