• Thu. May 19th, 2022

School district seeks to improve mental health and wellbeing of educators and support staff

Delta School Board’s latest meeting included a presentation on employee wellness

It’s certainly been a bumpy and scary road for teachers over the past few school years, and with the fifth wave of the pandemic underway, it’s probably not about to get any easier.

With that in mind, the Delta School District wants to know what is working and what needs improvement when it comes to supporting the mental health and well-being of its employees.

“We know that if educators are doing really well and feeling really good, that’s a really good indicator that kids are doing well in school… We really want an engaged, empowered workforce and healthy,” Nicole Braid, Director of Recruitment, Retention and Wellness, told Delta School Board trustees at their Jan. 11 meeting.

During a presentation on the district’s employee wellness strategy, Braid summarized the conversations his team had with teachers, principals and vice-principals, exempt and support staff in 2021 about the factors that helped staff feel ‘at their best’.

Categorized into self-specific, site-specific, and system-specific factors, district staff emphasized the importance of having time for self-care, maintaining work-life balance, have strong and supportive relationships with other staff members and be able to access district support when needed.

The vision for employee wellness at Delta Schools is “to improve employee health and quality of life by creating an environment where every employee’s wellness and mental health thrives,” Braid said. .

In addition to having these conversations, in 2021 they worked to create an employee wellness website with different wellness resources, established peer support coordinators to support teachers , engaged with an elementary and secondary school to set staff wellness goals and held five district and school-wide meetings. -specific sessions outlining their Lifeworks employee family assistance program, Braid said.

This month, they will send out an employee mental health and wellbeing survey to the entire district to provide additional focus and direction to their current strategy.

They also plan to meet with all Delta schools in the future to set school-specific wellness goals, as each school may have different areas they would like to focus on.

“It’s so critical that everyone – our district educators and support staff and our leaders – have these opportunities for these important discussions. We’re so far into this work, but I’m so excited to see what’s next,” said administrator Laura Dixon after the presentation.