Vicarious and secondary trauma in education in the wake of Everyone’s Invited

Media attention surrounding the issues raised by the spotlight shone on abuse and harassment of various forms suffered by pupils in educational settings in recent months has, and rightly so, been focused on the impact on the students themselves.  However what may be at risk of being overlooked is the potential impact on those members of staff who are involved at various stages in picking up the pieces.  In other words, to adapt a well-known maxim, Quis curabit ipsos curantes?

According to the most recently published HSE statistics for Work-related Stress, Anxiety or Depression in Great Britain, 2020, the education sector continues, as in previous years, to feature with significantly higher prevalence rates of work-related stress, depression or anxiety than the average across all industries.  The average rate according to the HSE statistics is 1570 cases per 100,000 workers; for the education sector, the rate is almost 40% higher, at 2170 cases per 100,000 workers.

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