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Teaching mental health crisis

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by Tekko, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. matryoshkadoll

    matryoshkadoll Occasional commenter

    yes, he was. He was very proud and not the sort to moan about his worries... unfortunately. Maybe if he had, he would still be here today.
  2. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    So sorry and shocked to read this. I have copied it and will start a new resource devoted to raising awareness and sharing ideas of how to combat this kind of stress and despair. I guess having a faith and access to spiritual writings and the power of prayer can help when things get so bleak. It certainly has helped me when I have been dealing with 'dark days.'

    A few times my doctor has wanted to put me on prozac but when I get depressed it is 'reactive depression.' That means it has a cause, there is a reason for it. And because of that I do not believe that taking any drug will help. I have friends on prozac and they say it makes them zombified. They are not so low, true - but they can't feel anything - they can't be happy either - and in the end, getting free from prozac is another problem on top of all the others that they have.

    From what I have heard and read on the subject, physical exercise is the only thing that is proven to combat depression. But how can an exhausted teacher with an inexhaustable pile of work to keep up with, find time to go for a healthy walk/bike-ride or take part in sport?

    Nature is a powerful anti-depressant. But many of our teachers live and work in cities and may not even have a garden to sit in.

    For me, company is a big help. The complete contrast between the intensity of teaching - the energy and interaction with so many people every day - and the isolation of finding oneself unemployed, was very depressing. If it weren't for having some dreams of becoming self-employed and using my knowledge and experience to support my beloved colleagues and the subject which I love so much, I don't know how I would have coped with the past two years.

    I love working on a project such as the Slide Show I have just completed and uploaded to share. It makes me feel useful - and that God does have a purpose for me - so even if I don't like it and would much prefer to be teaching in school still - I am doing the right thing. I feel that instead of using my knowledge and experience to enthuse a few hundred students I am able to share this with thousands. It gives me a real sense of satisfaction to see that over 55,000 people have viewed my resources.

    Incidentally, the 'Reflection On Life' series of Slide Shows is the most popular of all my resources and several teachers have told me that they watch it regularly to de-stress!!!
    Perhaps I should make it more widely known as it could be helpful for anyone really stressed out to know there is something they can just sit back and watch that might help restore some peace and perspective.

    One thing I do know. Money isn't everything. It would be much better to leave the stupid job than die. And suicide is so terrible for all those you leave behind, far worse than any other kind of loss.

    Another thing that, perhaps being an RE teacher helps you to appreciate - death is not the end. And the consequences of suicide - according to all the religions - are dire. I once heard it described as being a bit like catapulting a naked baby into a war zone. The baby has no way of getting out of the mess - no way of communicating with the people there - and is regarded as despicable by everyone because life is the greatest gift anyone ever can have and they have rejected it.
    According to this source, it can be thousands of years before such a soul is able to gain another incarnation as a human being, and needless to say, they are likely to be quiet damaged by their experience. Not exactly 'eternal damnation' but that's about all you can say for it.

    The thing is, we ordinary folk can't say what happens - but the likelihood is that nothing we are dealing with on this side of the 'great river' is likely to be as bad as that!
  3. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all the recommendations. I am adding them all to the resource I have created related to teacher suicides. I have also included an article about one 23 year old high-flying Maths teacher who died and wonder if it is helpful to include information about other casualties. The important thing is to offer support and inspiration - ways to fight stress and depression - so I think this could be counter-productive although clearly we can learn a lot from knowing what goes wrong.

    I think this is such an important issue.
  4. I agree; in fact, I think it is arguable that this issue -- which goes
    far deeper that the specific issue of suicide -- is the most serious
    problem facing the teaching profession today (for both teachers and
    their pupils). On the website I've just posted a link to, John
    Illingworth presents lot of factors which go to explain why, according to the Health and Safety Executive (2000) teaching
    is the most stressful occupation in the UK. I hope people visit his
    site to learn more about this, and send him a message of support for the
    great work he is doing.

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