Co-Contributors: R Evans, S Bell, R Brockman, R Campbell, D Gunnell, S Harding, O Harriss, W Hollingworth, B Kadir, R Morris, K Tilling, J Grey
|Teachers are consistently reported to be at increased risk of common mental health disorders compared to other occupations. The most recent Health and Safety Executive figures for self-reported stress, anxiety and distress at work show teaching professionals to have a rate of 2340 per 100 000, compared to 1220 per 100 000 for all occupations. Failure to attend to these levels of stress and distress may lead to longer-term mental health problems, poor performance at work, sickness absence, and health-related retirement. This has implications not only for teachers’ own health but also for the quality of staff-student relationships and student health. Teachers with poor mental health find it difficult to manage classes effectively and to develop supportive relationships with students. Difficult teacher-student relationships in secondary school have been found to increase the risk childhood psychiatric disorders and school exclusion.|
The Wellbeing in Secondary Education (WISE) Project is a cluster-randomised trial of an intervention to improve the mental health of secondary school teachers and students.
The intervention will train 8% of school staff in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and these individuals will set up a peer support service for colleagues, offering confidential listening, advice, and signposting to other services. A further 8% of teachers will be trained in schools’ youth MHFA to develop their knowledge and skills in supporting students. A- mental health and wellbeing awareness raising session will be delivered to all staff.
The primary outcome of the intervention is teacher wellbeing. Secondary outcomes comprise teacher depression; teacher absence; teacher presenteeism; student wellbeing; student psychological distress; student absence; student academic attainment; student attendance. Economic and process evaluations will be conducted.
The study will be conducted in the Bristol and Cardiff areas. Twenty-four non-fee paying secondary schools will be recruited. Twelve schools will receive the intervention, and twelve will continue with their usual practice.
- Does the WISE intervention lead to lower levels of teacher depression, absence and presenteeism, improved student wellbeing, attendance and attainment, and reduce student mental health difficulties compared to usual practice?
- Do any effects of the intervention differ according to the proportion of children receiving free school meals (FSM – an indicator of the socioeconomic catchment area) and geographical area, or individual level baseline mental health, gender, ethnicity and FSM?
- What is the cost of the WISE intervention, and is it justified by improvements to teacher and student wellbeing and reductions to teacher depression and student difficulties?
- Does the WISE intervention work according to the mechanisms of change hypothesised in the logic model?
- Is the WISE intervention sustainable?
For more information on the study, please contact Judi on +44 (0) 117 331 3910 or via email at email@example.com.
|DECIPHer – http://decipher.uk.net/new-study-wellbeing-secondary-education-wise-project/
University of Bristol – http://www.bris.ac.uk/social-community-medicine/projects/wise/