Is mindfulness the answer to teachers’ wellbeing woes?


Mindfulness has slowly become the go-to intervention for schools looking to support teacher wellbeing, with meditation Insets and whole-staff yoga now common. But Grainne Hallahan finds that not only are these sessions unlikely to work, they may actually cause more harm than good

Is mindfulness the issue with wellbeing?

Ash’s fit-for-work note sits on her dressing table, next to a hairbrush full of blonde strands and a curling foil blister pack stamped with the word “Temazepam”. The doctor’s cursive script spells out the words “stress and anxiety”, but the image in the mirror tells you more: weight loss, insomnia, hair loss, eczema, fatigue.

This fit note is Ash’s last. Her resignation letter is on her headteacher’s desk. She had already tried going part time; the stress was the same, the pay was lower. She’d already considered looking for another position in a different school; the prospect of job hunting ...

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