With one in four adults experiencing mental health challenges at times in their lives, raising awareness of the mental health of educators is hugely important in early childhood education.
Held from October 9 – 15, 2016, Australia’s national Mental Health Week coincides with World Mental Health Day on October 10. The aim? To promote social and emotional wellbeing to communities.
Mental Health Impacts Care Quality
Mental health issues can affect people from all walks of life – including parents, educators and even children. In fact, recent research in the early childhood sector found that up to 38% of family day care providers met the criteria for depression. Alarmingly, the mental health of the early childhood educators was seen to have an impact on care quality and on the children in their care.
Educators, particularly educational leaders, need the support of families and their workplace to deliver the best outcomes for children’s wellbeing and learning.
Supporting Our Educators’ Mental Health
We recognise the importance of the mental health and wellbeing of educators, and it’s a focus in our professional development day: Wellness Works! The Complete Early Childhood Leaders Conference.
We have developed a range of effective strategies for educators and centres to employ to improve the wellbeing of educators, children in their care and even the families and community.
Our approach is a holistic one and a necessary one to tackle the issue of mental health in our society and to offer the best support to those who need it.
Through making wellness, music, yoga and meditation work for us, we have so many powerful and natural tools. These can assist in the development of resilience to protect against and deal with mental health issues, and the mental health of educators.
Support Mental Health Week, Support One Another
To give children the best start, we need to support the mental health of educators and educational leaders. Professional development that uses wellness and wellbeing as its focal point to enhance educators’ ability to educate, and children’s ability to learn effectively is just one option available.
Let’s use Mental Health Week to start making more effort to support those around us. Beyondblue has some fantastic resources, including some specifically for families, to guide you through how to offer support to others.