Working together with teachers and school staff to create individual wellbeing plans can not only illustrate administrative support for staff mental health, but can also foster conversations about how to improve staff wellbeing in the school. Individual wellbeing plans are intended to be completed by individual staff members and an administrator or supervisor. As it may not be feasible for a single principal to create and follow through on all employee wellbeing plans, teachers could also create individual wellbeing plans with their professional learning communities to encourage peer support and accountability. However, it is important that whether these plans are shared with administrators or colleagues that they remain confidential. Individual wellbeing plans have employees write their answers to questions such as “Are there any situations at work that can trigger poor mental health for you?” , “How might experiencing poor mental health impact your work?” or “What can your manager [or administrator] do to proactively support you to stay mentally healthy at work?” (Mind, n.d., p.14-16). A few example individual wellbeing plans can be found below.
Little research has been done regarding the effectiveness of individual wellbeing plans at improving workplace wellbeing. However, many workplace wellbeing plans are adapted or simplified versions of the The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) program developed by Mary Ellen Copeland (1997). WRAP is much more comprehensive than the individual wellbeing plans traditionally used in the workplace, but shares similarities in that it assists participants in creating a self-management plan for their mental health and wellbeing by identifying factors contributing to stress, burnout and poor mental health, creating a plan for overcoming triggers and crisis situations, and seeking peer support(WRAP, n.d.). This program has been thoroughly researched and this research has shown that the creation of self-management plans for wellness and mental health are associated with a reduction in distressing mental health symptoms and an increase in hopefulness(Fukui et al., 2011).
||Wellbeing plan template, writing utensil
||20-30 minute interviews with staff, or a PLC session
- Introduce the Individual Wellbeing Plans to staff. This could be a required or optional activity.
- Determine whether you will hold meetings with each individual staff member or have staff do the activity in professional learning community groups.
- Create a wellbeing plan for your school using the above examples and distribute copies.
- Follow-up with staff on the wellbeing plans and any mental health concerns you should be aware of.
- This activity could also be completed by school leaders and principals with other school and district administrators.
Copeland, M. E. (1997). Wellness recovery action plan. Brattleboro VT: Peach Press.
Fukui, S., Starnino, V. R., Susana, M., Davidson, L. J., Cook, K., Rapp, C. A., & Gowdy, E. A. (2011). Effect of Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) participation on psychiatric symptoms, sense of hope, and recovery. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 34(3), 214–222. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.2975/34.3.2011.214.222
Mind. (n.d.). Guide for employees: Wellness action plans (WAPs). https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/5760/mind-guide-for-employees-wellness-action-plans_final.pdf
WRAP: Wellness Action Recovery Plan. (n.d.) What is WRAP? https://www.wellnessrecoveryactionplan.com/what-is-wrap/