Educators have been accessing mental health and wellbeing advice and support in record numbers since the coronavirus pandemic began in Australia.
Since March, Beyond Blue’s free national education initiative, called Be You, has experienced a 65 per cent increase in web visits compared to the same period last year.
The Be You coronavirus response resources have attracted more than 115,000 visits and over 5,300 downloads since they were made available on March 20.
Be You offers advice and tools to educators, principals, families and carers about how they can support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. The online resources are backed up by a Be You team around the country.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said Be You was helping educators support their learning communities and themselves during this time of change and uncertainty.
“The increased engagement with Be You reminds us that educators care deeply about the social and emotional wellbeing of their students,” Ms Harman said.
“As we return to remote learning in some parts of the country, let’s support educators to look after their own mental wellbeing too.
“These are stressful times and you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Ms Harman said it was normal to feel stressed when adapting to restrictions brought about by the pandemic, and it may help to:
- Lower your expectations about what is possible;
- Set boundaries around work hours and schedule downtime;
- Get enough sleep, eat well and exercise within public health guidelines;
- Debrief with colleagues, family or friends;
- And maintain social connections through video/phone calls or social media.
Ms Harman said it was important to acknowledge that educators were not mental health professionals.
“We don’t expect educators to have all the answers when it comes to supporting the mental health of children and young people, especially at this time of uncertainty,” Ms Harman said.
“I want to reassure educators and families across Australia that practical support and guidance is available now as they adapt to changes in the delivery of education.”
Be You was developed by Beyond Blue in partnership with delivery partners Early Childhood Australia and headspace. For more information, visit beyou.edu.au
The free Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is available 24/7 at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au or by calling 1800 512 348.