Apart from COVID, stress is the epidemic of the 21st Century. We are surrounded by weapons of mass distraction on a daily basis. The costs of stress have never been so high and the benefits of wellbeing to personal happiness and success have never been better understood. Wellbeing helps people be happy, healthy, focussed and at their best.
The costs of stress, depression and anxiety are increasingly evident in educational institutions. A 2018 survey found that one in four students said they feel stressed at the end of the day and find it hard to concentrate and over 50% of students have difficulty concentrating in class or on study because of day-to-day stress. Stress is contagious. Learner stress adds to teacher stress. In April 2019 it was announced that Leaving Cert results day in 2017 was the busiest day that year for calls to the Samaritans. COVID and related challenges have greatly accelerated the already negative trends in mental health and burnout across schools. Almost sixty percent reported that their mental health/well-being has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (CSO, Ireland study February 2021).
When people learn positive habits that support their wellbeing at a young age, it gives a strong foundation for life-long resilience, health, happiness and engagement in life.