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School Mental Health Is Not Just for Students: Why Teacher and School Staff Wellness Matters  

Author:  Nancy Lever.; Erin Mathis.; Ashley Mayworm.

Source: Volume 17, Number 01, Winter 2017 , pp.6-12(7)

Emotional & Behavioral Disorders in Youth 2017

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Wellness for school staff is an emerging research topic that builds upon the general workplace wellness literature. School mental health is important, not just for students, but for all individuals in a school, including educators, administrators, and clinicians. Staff working in schools can experience high levels of stress related to a number of factors, including the demands of the teaching role, poor work conditions, level of income, and pressures for students to perform well on standardized tests. In addition, school staff are often exposed to high levels of secondary trauma as part of their day-to-day interactions with students. This article discusses the value of investing in staff wellness and reviews unique considerations for advancing wellness. It reviews wellness research in the workplace and highlights validated measures to evaluate wellness. In addition, it discusses core wellness components, recommended standards, and exemplary school wellness programs and provides recommendations for schools to implement staff wellness programs.

Keywords: School mental health, children and youth, educators, burnout, wellness

Affiliations:  1: University of Maryland, Baltimore; 2: MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; 3: University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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