Psychosocial Hazards

Protecting your mental health at work

Education falls into the category of “caring professions” and there is often a public perception that teachers and education workers should be selfless and put their students before themselves. But just like on a plane when you are told that in case of an emergency you should put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others, being mindful of your own mental health is important for you to be able to do your job well.
There is an increasing understanding of the impact that workload, school violence and challenging relationships can have on the psychological well-being of teachers and education workers. What isn’t as widely understood is that mental health challenges brought on by work experiences are “psychological injuries” and should be reported in the same way as any workplace injury.
The law and supports have not yet caught up with dealing with psychosocial hazards as health and safety hazards, but the advocacy of ETFO members asserting their rights is beginning to shift that. If you are dealing with psychosocial hazards in the workplace, reach out to your local leaders for support in addressing them. If you are struggling with your own mental health, seek out support, and in the case of an emergency go to the nearest emergency department.

Pandemic Experience Survey

More than 5,000 ETFO members participated in a mental health survey in November and December 2020.  The results are being analyzed by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and the Institute for Work and Health (IWH).    

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