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Off work with stress, thinking about future prospects.

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by diane1350, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. diane1350

    diane1350 New commenter

    Hi there, I am in my second year of teaching and have been off sick with stress for three weeks now, rather than feeling better I am starting to get worse. My doctor seems to think it is because I am off work and I must say that I feel absolutely disagree. I feel sick and have panic attacks when I just walk past another school which is absolutely ridiculous but I can't stop myself from reacting like this.

    I have a history of depression but was handling it well before starting in teaching. I had even got off the tablets! I don't want to go into too much detail in case of the school begin recognised but there has been quite a high turnover of staff under the current Headteacher. I was threatened to not pass my NQT year (only passed because I got my union involved) and for some silly reason I decided to stay! The pressure got worse and worse until the point I was put onto informal capabilities. I ended up going off on sick.

    I do not want to go back to this school at all and plan on leaving at the end of this academic year. I have been thinking about changing careers and was thinking about doing some voluntary work while I am off sick to see the different sectors.

    My question is: am I legally allowed to do this? It is 3 or 4 months until the end of the term and I do not at all want to go back... I really want to try something completely different and would like to get back in the job market asap.
  2. maud1901

    maud1901 New commenter

    You poor thing. I can really empathise with you. I have been teaching for 27 years and went off with stress for 6 months. Having been back in school for a year I am off with stress again. Like you I am beginning to evaluate my career path, and, although I am older than you I still have some work life left in me.

    I'm not sure if you can do voluntary work whilst off ill, even though it is school making you stressed. Try checking up with your Union. I know when I was getting better last time I asked if I could go into school to hear readers but was told that this would mean my sick pay would stop.

    Wishing you good luck with your choice.
  3. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Do check as I'm no expert, but see lots of people off sick at the gym-assuming if their illness is non-physical that's ok, just as if you have a very physical job and are signed off with eg bad back, you could theoretically work at a desk job?
  4. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    If someone is signed off due to mental health issues and finds that being at the gym helps them get their head clear then it's absolutely fine to goto the gym.

    Diane, if the job is making you that sick then you need to leave. I'd suggest putting your notice in to leave asap. If by the time you leave you are feeling up for it you could sign up to supply teaching to earn as you work out what you are going to do. Best strategy will be to post on workplace dilemas and the supply boards.
  5. chris1980

    chris1980 New commenter

    I know how you feel as I feel exactly the same. I have reached the point where I have had enough and can't take anymore. Going to leave and do supply.

    Good luck
  6. maud1901

    maud1901 New commenter

    You have made a brave decision, chris1980. I wish you all the best.
  7. missteach2005

    missteach2005 New commenter

    I had a bought of absence due to stress and panic attacks in a post the last academic year, I decided to leave and start another school. The panic attacks were not as bad but the anxiety was. I ended up resigning from this post and I am now on supply. I am not advocating supply for all, as for some it is not for everyone, what my point is since leaving my full time post I have become me again. My husband has seen a completely different me, a happier me.

    You need to do what is right for you and your health. At the end of the day that is far more important than any job.

    As for voluntary work, I would seek advice from your union, as they will be the ones in the know.

    Good luck, I hope it all works out for you xx

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