New Survey Reveals Support Needed for Faculty and Staff on the Front Lines of the Student Mental Health Crisis
More than half considered leaving their job because of burnout, increased workload and stress
(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Supporting students’ mental health and well-being has practically become a job expectation for higher education faculty and staff. Yet, educators on the front lines of the campus mental health crisis do not always feel that they have the support they personally need.
According to a national survey by TimelyCare, higher education’s most trusted virtual health and well-being provider, three out of four faculty and staff said more mental health support would improve job satisfaction. More than half (53%) have considered leaving their job because of burnout, increased workload and stress, underscoring continuing concerns about employee retention in the aftermath of the pandemic. The survey included more than 500 faculty and staff members at public and private four-year and two-year higher education institutions.
“The weight of faculty and staff burnout and stress threatens the foundation of higher education. When faculty and staff are struggling, it’s hard for them to support students to their fullest potential,” said Dr. Bob Booth, Chief Care Officer of TimelyCare. “To build a resilient generation of future leaders, we must ensure that all campus employees receive the support they need and deserve.”
Key faculty and staff mental health survey highlights include:
- 82% are experiencing the same level or more stress and anxiety than this time last year
- 76% feel supporting students’ mental health is a job expectation
- 75% believe more mental health support would improve their job satisfaction
- 55% are experiencing mental health issues such as stress, anxiety or depression
- 53% considered leaving their job because of burnout, increased workload and stress
Their personal lives and finances are also weighing heavily on their mental health. Talking with family and friends, exercising and getting outdoors are the top ways faculty and staff cope with stress and anxiety.
Peer-to-peer support and virtual counseling/teletherapy were the top two mental health resources employees would like but are not currently offered at their institutions.
“I think faculty and staff need resources more than anything. They need to know that for whatever concern that they have, there’s a resource that is easily accessible to them that they’re not going to be judged for using,” said Davien Armstrong, Case Manager, Student Resource and Empowerment Center, Tidewater Community College.
Prioritizing educators’ mental health and well-being by providing accessible mental health resources is critical to creating a supportive campus environment. TimelyCare allows colleges and universities to expand 24/7 access to employee populations such as St. Olaf University, Southern Utah University, Tidewater Community College, Virginia Tech and Western Colorado University.
“The fact that they’ve been willing to invest in a service that does have professional mental health providers, both for our students and our faculty and staff, lets us know that they care,” said McKenzie Mathewson, Associate Director of Community Wellness, Western Colorado University.