Our Frontline and Twinkl offer round the clock mental health support for teachers

15th June 2020

The educational publisher Twinkl has joined the Our Frontline campaign to bring together mental health support and advice for teaching staff and remind them ‘it’s ok not to feel ok’, as they continue to support pupils during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Frontline was set up by Samaritans, Mind, Shout85258 and Hospice UK, with the support of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to provide round the clock, 1-2-1 support by call or text and online mental health and bereavement resources to key workers on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.

Twinkl and the organisations behind Our Frontline are appealing to educators to use the service if they need support.

An additional part of the service being offered through Our Frontline is a range of resources designed in partnership between Twinkl and Mind to specifically help teaching staff as they continue to work with pupils in and outside of the classroom and as more children return to class. This includes advice on wellbeing, returning to school and the logistics of teaching at this time.

Awareness of the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of teaching staff was also recently highlighted in the Department for Education’s announcement of extra mental health support for teachers and pupils.

Leon Smith, Chief Customer Officer at Twinkl and a former primary school teacher, said:

“We talk to members of the teaching community each and every day and we know that they are facing a number of different challenges and pressures as key workers, especially at the moment. Working with Our Frontline we are able to offer additional, specialist support for teachers, which we hope will go some way towards helping.

“We want teaching staff to know about the help that is available, but also that it is completely ok to need and ask for this. We have been in complete awe of teaching and school communities, who have come together to help children and young people keep learning throughout these circumstances. We are pleased that this is being recognised and hope that the range of support available to teaching staff will make a difference, at this time and in the future.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:

“Even before coronavirus, school staff were working under significant pressure, without enough support. Now teachers and school staff face a huge challenge as additional pupils return to school, they must be able to access the support they need, while being offered guidance and reassurance around any concerns for their safety and wellbeing. As part of the Our Frontline campaign, alongside Twinkl, we’ve designed specific round the clock resources that will support teacher and school staff mental health.”

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland, said:

“We’re proud to be able to support teachers who have been working tirelessly on the frontline throughout the pandemic in schools and from their homes. This unsettling time will have been a huge pressure for some, so we want teachers to know that we are here to listen. Our volunteers are available 24/7 and are ready and waiting so please do get in touch, as everyone could do with a listening ear.”

CEO of the Shout crisis text message service, Victoria Hornby, said:

“As part of our frontline, teachers have been supporting the nation throughout the lockdown and are now helping us emerge from it. We are here to support them just as they have supported us. However big or small a teacher may think their problem is, our trained volunteers are here to listen and help them if they are feeling overwhelmed.”

Tracey Bleakley, CEO, Hospice UK:

“We know how hard teachers and other staff have been working during the lockdown, and as more pupils return the pressures will only increase. All our frontline staff need help with loss, grief and other worries, and these new resources are a welcome addition.”

The resources are available online: www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/ourfrontline-education

Visit ourfrontline.org for round the clock 1-2-1 support and resources from Our Frontline. Text KEYWORKER to 85258 for a confidential, free, text chat with a trained volunteer, 24/7.

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