84% of teachers have suffered from some form of mental health problem in the past 2 years. Recent research from the journal, Social Science & Medicine indicates that the stress in the classroom is also contagious. The researchers found that students had higher levels of cortisol if their teachers reported higher burnout levels. “Teachers who experience higher levels of burnout report to be more stressed, less effective in teaching and classroom management, less connected to their students, and less satisfied with their work,” the study authors write.
School districts must proactively address the need to provide mental health support for teachers and students. They should look beyond the “go to” solution to simply “hire more counselors” because there is never enough funding to provide impact and equity for all. It is time for education systems to explore disruptive methods like telehealth as a way to provide access to mental health resources for all students and teachers across a greater geographic area.