One of the consequences of the pandemic prolonged in time was the greater attention to mental health deeply affected, especially in the period of confinement. A recent study published on the National Health Service (SNS) portal based on a questionnaire online aimed at various careers and professional categories, between May and August 2020, reveals that more than a quarter of individuals in the adult population and about half of health professionals reported symptoms compatible with depression and moderate to severe anxiety, as well as post-natal stress. traumatic. Almost 34% manifested psychological distress, 27% moderate or severe anxiety and similar percentages for post-traumatic stress, depression or burnout🇧🇷 Perhaps the only benefit of this blackboard is recognition of the importance of mental health and, as a result, greater visibility and acceptance of mental illness. Even today there is a reservation in relation to mental illness, starting at the level of depression, as if it reveals a kind of flaw, fragility, incapacity that needs to be hidden, as if it were a lasting stain from which it is not possible to recover.
Among the professions that were considered most at risk during the pandemic are health professionals and teachers, tested to their limits and whose emotional well-being has implications for those with whom they come into contact beyond themselves. In May of this year, the study was presented Health Psychological and Well-Being, with the scientific coordination of Margarida Gaspar de Matos, a professor at the University of Lisbon, who has been standing out for her research on the behavior of Portuguese young people, their feelings, their relationship with risk, with the community, with family and life in general. The aforementioned study, which is the result of an extensive partnership between researchers from the University of Lisbon and different units of the Ministry of Education, with the support of the Portuguese Psychologists Association and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, aimed to know the panorama of the psychological health of children and adolescents. from preschool to 12th grade, but also the situation of teachers/educators, formulating a set of recommendations to promote the psychological health and well-being of the school ecosystem.
A total of 1457 teachers participated in the survey, carried out in the two weeks prior to the assessment, most of them women (81.8%), with more than half (54.6%) reporting satisfaction with life equal to or greater than 7 on a scale of ten. However, more than half reported feeling nervous (55.3%), sad (53.4%), irritated or in a bad mood (51.3%), with a weekly frequency or more, and a significant part (48 .5%) indicates difficulties in falling asleep. It is, however, noteworthy that 8 out of 10 teachers are satisfied with their work at school.
The recommendations included in this study are very relevant, some of them urgent, in which I highlight the development of socio-emotional skills, not only for professionals in practice, but also for future educators and teachers. We know the importance of neuroscience in Education, but it is important to emphasize that the emotional well-being of teachers, principals and all professionals in the educational ecosystem creates better learning opportunities for students.
The Educatopia platform created by the George Lucas Foundation, aimed at teachers and students, dedicates an important area to teacher well-being, which it considers an essential task of the school. At a time when we recognize the lack of teachers and the attractiveness of this profession is being discussed, it is important to change the school so that it is possible to restore the joy of teaching and learning.
Director in Portugal of the Organization of Ibero-American States