The number of teachers seeking medical attention over mental health issues has surged significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
400 Depressed TSC Teachers
During the month of April alone, over 400 Kenyan teachers sought mental health services in various mental institutions and health facilities across the country.
This is according to a report provided by Minet Kenya Insurance, a health service facility that was contracted by TSC Kenya to conduct a survey on depression among teachers. Seemingly, the TSC is concerned about the mental health of its teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it remains to be seen whether the teachers’ employer will provide any help to the affected teachers.
As expected, the victims of depression have not been mentioned in the report. However, the number of depressed teachers in every county was provided. According to the report, which was published by Citizen TV, Bungoma had the largest number of teachers seeking mental health care. In the western Kenya county, 28 teachers reported some level of stress. Nairobi had the second largest number of teachers suffering from stress, with 24 teachers saying that they were depressed. Other most affected counties are Machakos and Bomet with 20 and 23 cases of depressed teachers respectively.
Most of the teachers who have reported stress are male (54%), with only 29% of the teachers complaining of stress being female.
There Could be More Stressed Teachers in Kenya
The fact that this survey covered only the month of April shows that there are more depressed teachers than the said figure. In the month of May and June, cases of mental stress among Kenyan teachers might have increased.
Moreover, the survey did not cover teachers who did not seek medical attention. Many teachers might be suffering in silence while staying at home as instructed by the relevant health authorities during the current period of Corona Virus outbreak.
Thus, it is no brainer to conclude that there are a lot more depressed teachers in the country.
The situation is worse than you might think if you look at this finding: “The number of depressed teachers seeking psychological support has tripled this year compared to the same period last year.”
More teachers are also reported to be seeking medical treatments for cancer, heart diseases, and other conditions.
This survey covered only TSC teachers, and God only knows what private school teachers and BOM teachers are going through.
The current pandemic has caused significant harm to many people in society, but it seems teachers are the most affected. Why?
Perhaps we are used to running around, talking a lot, and mixing with many students and teachers. Right now teachers are living with only a few people, talking much less, and staying idle in the middle of a serious pandemic.
All factors considered, we teachers are becoming significantly disturbed, frustrated, and depressed. What can we do? In the next post I will talk about the methods of curbing stress during a pandemic.