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Depression -staff not me!

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Ruthiesword, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Ruthiesword

    Ruthiesword New commenter

    Have got 2 members of staff in small primary who have been to doctors & got diagnosed with depression. Want to support them properly & occy health are being a bit chocolate teapot with advice. Have had PND in past so have some idea of how they might be feeling, but I am a kind of 'b*gger it' kind of person and drugs & bolshi-ness got me through, and they don't seem to be. Anyone any good, practical ideas of how to support them. They are both full time teachers in school. Thanks
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  2. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Signpost any LA counselling; allow time off for CBT or other therapy; check in regularly - are they okay to be at work? I was - but colleagues were not. Know that everyone's experience is different but that you empathise may help.
    Is there anything about work that contributed - or not?
  3. Ruthiesword

    Ruthiesword New commenter

    Thanks Cornflake, they can only access LA support if they contact occy health so given them the relevant paperwork but it's up to them, have said they can have time for counselling. One seems OK at work, the other doesn't seem as OK. Both seem to be isolating themselves, one more than the other, but I can't make them come to the staffroom at break/lunch. Wish I could wave magic wand especially as I am old enough to be their mum :(
  4. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Don't try to make them come to the staff room. At my lowest point the last thing I wanted was to talk to anyone and I always felt like I had to put on a cherry face...it was a killer.

    Everyone's experience is different so it's a case of feeling your way I'm afraid....sorry I know that's not much help

    When it was a member of staff I was looking out for I tried to reassure her that I wasn't judging when she needed time off as this was something she felt acutely - along the lines of, no-one would bat an eyelid if you'd broken a leg. In that case confidentiality was key as she didn't want anyone to know. I also made it clear that I wouldn't keep bringing it up , but if she wanted to talk I would be happy to listen.
  5. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    You can't make them, no. And it may be just too overwhelming to do that as Ladykaza notes.
    But you can pop by with a cup of tea and stay with them for a few minutes ...
    You can ask them to help you with something
    You can help them with the paperwork (surely it's you who refers??)
  6. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Also: if one doesn't sound okay at work, you do have a responsibility to the children. If being at work is detrimental to them and the children, I think you have to take a firmer line on occ health referral - and a firmer line on reassuring them that them getting well is a priority for both of you ... And if that means some time off, school will cope.
  7. Ruthiesword

    Ruthiesword New commenter

    I have referred to occy health, they have what they described as 'an extensive waiting list'. The other referral was for counselling, which is up to the individual, but would be given time in the working week if needed. I am chatting regularly with them both and making sure they are OK. If I felt it was going to affect the children I would take action.
  8. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Sounds like you're doing all you can to support them. Re councilling, if they are members of a union , they may have some support available. I know the NAHT provide phone and online councilling and an online CBT course.
  9. Schoolcoachguru

    Schoolcoachguru New commenter

    Have you offered them coaching? This has worked surprisingly well in a number of depression cases as if you use the right coaching model it's all about their goal (so they have ownership) and they'll get "quick wins" which help them to take baby steps away from the depression. Happy to talk if you want more info?
  10. Ruthiesword

    Ruthiesword New commenter

    Thanks, one of the staff is being coached by deputy, the other is now on anti-depressants from doctor and going for regular counselling.

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