Teachers Health Foundation funds research supporting early career teachers

Early career teachers face several challenges as they begin their careers, challenges that are contributing to an increasing rate leaving the profession prematurely.

A research study by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, funded by the Teachers Health Foundation, was undertaken to understand more about the experiences of teachers as they join the profession and the ways in which they can be supported.

The ‘Start Well’ project also aimed to inform the development of recommendations for action to support the wellbeing and resilience of early career teachers and to encourage them to stay within the teaching profession long-term.

Teachers Health CEO, Brad Joyce said mental health issues are a growing challenge for the education community.

“This research looks at how we can help one of the most vulnerable groups of teachers – those who are just starting their career,” Mr Joyce said.

“They can face challenges such as self-doubt, time pressure and excessive workload which often results in burnout, emotional exhaustion and low levels of retention.”

Over 450 early career teachers in NSW participated in the study, along with educational leaders from peak organisations.

Early career teachers named a number of challenges with regards to their role, in particular:

  • time management
  • large workloads
  • behaviour management
  • lack of support in the school environment.

The findings of the study suggest that good peer support is critical for early career teachers’ resilience and coping and is associated with plans to stay in teaching long-term, making support systems that target relationships, skills and strengths helpful to early career teachers in managing both professional and personal wellbeing.

To read the full ‘Start Well’ report, visit himh.org.au/startwell

For more information on the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, visit himh.org.au

The Teachers Health Foundation was launched by Teachers Health to improve the health and wellbeing of teachers by providing funding to support medical research into condition most commonly experienced by teachers. As the only private health insurance fund exclusively for the education community, the Teachers Health Foundation is part of our commitment to doing more for teachers.