The BeWellTeachWell project is about developing an internet-based self-help tool to reduce the impact of job-related stress, anxiety and depression experienced by teachers. It is a partnership between Teacher Support Network, the Centre for Mental Health Research at The Australian National University and NASUWT.
Why is this project needed?
In 2008, Teacher Support Network conducted an extensive review that found teachers experience one of the highest levels of stress of all professions. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that job-related stress, anxiety or depression affects 36,000 UK teachers annually.
Despite clear demand, teachers in distress are not receiving adequate assistance. Teacher Support Network receives thousands of calls each year from teachers who are struggling to cope with work-related stress. This gap in services creates significant personal costs to teachers, their families, pupils and schools, as well as wider social and economic consequences. To address this problem, an engaging and evidence based intervention needs to be delivered inexpensively and on-demand. This is the aim of BeWellTeachWell.
What will the tool look like?
The tool will consist of a tailored information website ‘BeWellTeachWell’ which encourages teachers to deal with stress, anxiety and depression. It will include evidence-based information tailored to the needs and experiences of teachers (e.g. causes, symptoms & diagnosis, help & resources), as well as specific advice about how to use and access an existing interactive self-help resource called e-couch, which is delivered by e-hub.
Content will be tailored to the needs, experiences and feedback of teachers in order to make it relevant and engaging for the user. A consumer-driven approach will be adopted, with input and feedback sought from potential users (i.e. teachers with experience of work-related stress, anxiety and depression) throughout the development process. Maximising engagement is a significant aim of the project, and tailoring content in this way is hypothesised to help minimise attrition rates, which are generally very high for online mental health tools.
When will the tool be available?
We are planning to start piloting the tool in 2012.