Teachers Now Using Anti-Depressants To Cope Up With Work Stress

By KJ Belonio, Parent Herald March 29, 07:10 am
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Oh no! Teachers' mental health are reportedly at risk due to work stress. And a teachers' union survey recently showed that stressed out teachers are using prescribed anti-depressant drugs to cope with the pressure and stress of their occupation.

Teachers, professional educators or professors are, perhaps, one of the most significant yet hardest profession in the world. It often requires a great amount of patience and understanding in order to successfully carry out the responsibility of shaping the lives of young, impressionable children.

While a teacher's responsibility comes with great pride and joy, the pressures and stresses also have major impacts on a teacher's health. As a matter of fact, the NASUWT survey of more than 5,000 teachers found that 7 percent had used or increased their dependence on prescription drugs due to heavy workload, BBC News notes.

In addition, 22 percent had increased their alcohol intake while 21 percent had consumed more caffeine as a coping mechanism against the stress and pressures of their profession. Thus, NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates stressed how the job is affecting the "health and well-being of teachers and school leaders."

"It is unacceptable that given the increasing scale of the problem, there is still no sign of either employers or the government taking any effective action to address this," Keates said. "Instead of offering support, in far too many cases we see employers introducing punitive and callous sickness absence policies.

Keates also added that high quality education won't be achieved if teachers are "stressed and anxious." Keates' statement came after the survey revealed that 79 percent of the teachers who participated in the survey suffered work-related anxiety, Daily Mirror reports.

Meanwhile, British Education Secretary Nicky Morgan had reportedly addressed the NASUWT over the weekend. And, according to Daily Mail, a Department of Education spokesperson said that the department are working with education experts to address the "root causes" of teacher workload.

"We know unnecessary workload is one of the biggest frustrations for teachers," the spokesman stated. "We are working with the profession and education experts to take action on the root causes of teacher workload, including through the first biennial teacher workload survey and looking in depth at the three biggest concerns teachers have raised - marking, planning and resources, and data management."

Aside from detailing the percentage breakdown of how the teachers are coping with the pressures and stresses that come with their profession, the survey also showed the alarming reality of the physical and mental health problems teachers are experiencing in exchange of providing high quality education.

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