Photo Credit: Public Domain
Published May 7, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
On Thursday, May 6, the Tennessee Department of Education launched their Educator Emotional Support Video Series, which provides free mental health resources to Tennessee teachers.
The series launched in support of May being Mental Health Awareness Month and Teacher Appreciation Month. These optional resources include interactive activities and guidance from two licensed clinical social workers. It was created specifically to address the emotional stress associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said, “Educators have faced significant challenges and hurdles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including shifting from virtual to in-person instruction while ensuring our students continue to learn. As a parent, I appreciate their dedication and ongoing support and I am grateful we can provide these essential resources to help our educators manage their stress and continue the critical work of educating our children.”
The series includes five videos titled; Introduction To Stress Response, Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness, Grief and Loss, Managing and Maintaining Healthy Connections, and Self Care. They were created with help from external partnerships and private mental health practitioners.
Beth Goodner, the Chief Executive Officer of TrustPoint Hospital has expressed how important the video series can be in helping educators deal with stress and mental health issues.
“The last 18 months have been complex, and educators have faced significant challenges and obstacles while simultaneously working to keep their students engaged,” Goodner said. “In memory of Dr. Linda Gilbert, and in honor of May being Teacher Appreciation Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, I am grateful to and appreciative of the Tennessee Department of Education, as well as Mai Ferrell and Robin Morgan Bayne, for bringing this emotional support video series to fruition. I want our educators to be armed with the knowledge of various coping skills that will better equip them to engage fully in their personal and professional lives. Tennessee educators do much more than teach. They impact students for a lifetime.”
Teachers and health professionals across the state have also shown their support for the series.
Kami Lunsford, 2021 Tennessee Teacher of the Year and Music Teacher at Karns Middle School said, “Tennessee educators have well earned a moment to reflect on the lessons we have learned and regroup after giving so much to our communities and classrooms this past school year. By including balance and mindfulness as we move forward to take care of ourselves, we can positively impact our families, classrooms, and communities. This video series is a valuable resource for our personal and professional lives.”
“Educators and school health professionals have exceptionally challenging jobs, with front row seats to the impacts of poor health, hunger, and child trauma,” said Jacy Warrell, the Executive Director for the Rural Health Association of Tennessee. “These videos are a much-needed prescription to support the physical and mental health of our educators.”
The Educator Emotional Support Series can be watched on Best for All Central or the Department of Education’s YouTube page. To receive more information throughout Teacher Appreciation and Mental Health Awareness Month, educators can follow the department’s Twitter account.