Support Staff Well-Being

What to Know

Teachers and principals are more likely than other workers to report burnout and symptoms of depression. They are also less likely to say that they feel resilient (that they can “bounce back” when bad things happen). Educators of color are more likely than White educators to experience symptoms of depression. When teachers have poor mental health, schools have lower-quality learning environments and students do not do as well in school. Putting school-based programs in place that support the mental health of teachers and staff can improve school climate and promote student mental health and success.

What Can Schools Do?

Offer Mindfulness-Based Training Programs

Provide Therapeutic Resources

Focus on Equity

Strategies that reduce racial discrimination and improve inclusivity among school staff are critical for promoting staff wellness. Example strategies include:

  • Offering culturally relevant mental health and well-being supports that staff can access.
  • Creating supportive environments within schools that include safe spaces for staff (e.g., affinity groups) and activities that provide social support and promote resilience.

Implementation Tips

Leaders can support staff well-being by:

  • Asking staff how school practices and policies could be improved to reduce their stress.
  • Building opportunities to practice mindfulness skills into existing routines.
  • Talking to school staff about how to access mental health supports.
  • Engaging with the community and with parent-teacher organizations to decide on ways groups can work together to support teachers and school staff.
  • If the school district can support it, asking school or district mental health and wellness teams to offer support to teachers as well. For example, teams could provide training during professional development days or create a referral list of mental health providers in the community.

Organizational changes can help reduce stress and create consistent opportunities for school staff to engage in positive coping. For additional information and resources, see Tips for Promoting School Employee Wellness.