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Teachers: Take Care of Your Mental Wellbeing This Back-to-School Season

The first day of school is a welcome reprieve for many parents. Juggling childcare, work and summer activities can be flat-out exhausting! But, while parents may look forward to school-year routines, some teachers may have a hard time gearing up to be back in the classroom.

Throughout the year, teachers are tasked with setting up and maintaining classrooms, developing lesson plans, communicating with parents, preparing students for state tests and working with students of varying abilities. It’s a demanding job that is often underappreciated and underpaid.

So, if you are a teacher or school what can you do to address mental wellbeing during back-to-school season?

  • Incorporate breathing and meditation and other techniques into your day. Not only will it benefit you, but you can also teach your students these self-care techniques. A study from the National Institutes of Health suggests that mindfulness activities can help people manage stress, cope better with serious illness and reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Communicate to administrators the need for support. Schools can offer online toolkits with mental health resources, such as training, literature and surveys. An online toolkit can also be used to inform teachers about available mental health benefits.
  • Get outside. As a teacher, it’s all too easy to spend entire days indoors looking at whiteboards and screens. Block time before or after school to be outside, whether it’s sitting quietly or exercising. The American Psychological Association says exposure to green spaces improves memory, cognitive flexibility and attention control.
  • Establish peer-support programs. Train a handful of teachers — if not all — to be leaders in the school’s mental health movement. Form support groups that can openly discuss mental health and challenges specific to the education system. This is a great opportunity to become certified in MHFA.

Adult MHFA is an evidence-based course developed for adults to learn how to assist and support another adult who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. It teaches how to assist someone in need, reduce the stigma around mental illness and promote wellness in your community.

Youth MHFA is an evidence-based course developed to teach adults how to assist and support young people ages 12-18 who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. Participants are equipped with the skills to make a positive difference in the lives of young people around them.

Find a course today and bring hope and support to teachers in your community.



National Institutes of Health. (2012, Jan.). Mindfulness matters.

American Psychological Association. (2020, April 1). Nurtured by Nature.

Mental Health First Aid. (2020). Mental Health First Aid USA. National Council for Behavioral Health d/b/a National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

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