Are you a supply teacher or teaching assistant looking for some help and advice? If so, you are in the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, ECTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer. 

For more good stuff like this, follow us on social media - you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Or pick up the phone and give us a call.

Tips and Tricks - 13-12-2022 - - 0 comments
Talking about mental health

This time of year is filled with highs and lows and what can be a very happy time for some, can be a very hard time for others. It’s important that will all look out for and support one another.  After all, mental health is just as important as physical health.

Talking about mental health, isn’t always easy but having an open dialogue about mental health can really help and ensure that people find the help that they need. 

Open questions you can ask to check-in when a friend, family or colleague?

  • How are you feeling? 
  • I’ve noticed you ______ .  How are you feeling? 
  • How would you like things to be different?
  • I know  ________.  (Acknowledge something that is happening in their life.) Anything you want to talk about?


Be sure to really listen and acknowledge their feelings. Share concern but try not to panic, show judgement or dismiss their problems.

What if they don’t want to talk?

Some people may not work to talk and that’s okay. Our best advice would be to be patient and to remind them that you are here if they change their mind. If you are worried about their safety, let them know and encourage them to seek professional help. There are a number of hotlines available that can provide support if they’d prefer to speak to someone else.

Now what?

Now that you’ve spoken with your friend/colleague/family member, you may be wondering what to do next. Of course, there isn’t a once size fits all response. The most valuable thing you can do is let them know that you were there. 

Some great follow up questions may include:

  • How can I help? 
  • I care about you. Is there anything I can do to help you get through this?  (If the answer is “no,” consider offering one way in which you think you can help, even if it is something simple.) 
  • I’m concerned about you, but I’m not sure what to do. Let’s talk to someone about this. 
  • May I help you find someone who can help?

You may also be able to support by doing the following:

  • Check in regularly
  • Offer to run an errand or help with something until they are feeling better
  • Learn more about mental health and wellness 
  • Find information and resources to share with them
  • Talk to someone who can guide you - our senior team are trained as mental health first aiders

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you can make a big different just by being there as a friend. Even taking the time to read this blog is a step in the right direction. By education ourselves and supporting one another, we can hopefully, normalise the conversation about mental health and empower people to talk and get the help they need.

Add a comment:




Enter the characters in the image shown:


Follow us

Smile Education’s FacebookSmile Education’s TwitterSmile Education’s LinkedInSmile Education’s InstagramSmile Education's TikTok

© 2023 Smile Education Ltd. All Rights Reserved | Data Protection | Privacy | Policies & Procedures
Website by Cloud

smile logo