Teachers Are Plagued With Anxiety And Depression, says Psychiatrists

South African teachers have been identified by the South African Society of Psychiatrists as the forgotten group of professionals whose lives are not only under threat from Covid-19, but they are also faced with anxiety and depression.


The South African Society of Psychiatrists revealed that South African teachers suffer from high levels of anxiety making it difficult to be fully influential to learners in giving the academic support needed. 

Dr Alicia Porter from the South African Society of Psychiatrists has said that more attention needs to be given to teachers. 

They are the teacher, they are the psychological support, they’re the social worker, they’re the parent. The problem is that their mental health is then neglected.

It is something that we don’t focus on enough. There are rising levels of anxiety, depression, and stress among teachers, Porter added. 

The Society of Psychiatrists emphasized the importance of taking care of teachers as they are expected to effect change on students. Porter added that teachers can't be expected to give the necessary academic support to learners when they are also faced with challenges of anxiety and depression. 

The pressure has become unbearably high for teachers to cope. A struggle that subsequently places the teaching process in an impossible state. 

 A month has passed since schools have returned to contact learning. Porter says the pressure is on, and the teachers, who are expected to assist stressed and anxious learners are themselves exhausted and at risk of burnout. 

It's also reported that some learners have a whole year to catch up on when about 500 000 have dropped out completely. The average on education is reported to be one teacher for every 35 learners.

Despite the burden that the government has put on teachers, more teaching posts remain unfilled, reports say with Porter revealing that a lot of teaching professionals consider leaving the profession.

The focus has been on whether the learners are coping in the learning process under the disruptions of Covid-19, forgetting that teachers are humans too. 

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