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The INSPQ takes an interest in the mental health of school staff

After two years of the pandemic, the researchers considered that the time was right to “really get a better understanding of what the main risk factors are and how these personnel are doing”. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

The National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) wants to know how the mental health of public school staff in Quebec is doing.

A new online survey aims to “produce evidence taking into account the impact of the pandemic and to formulate recommendations in order to reduce the harmful effects of these (workplace psychosocial) risks on workers”, explains t- -on by press release, since “little rigorous data exists on the subject in Quebec”.

“We know that there is a shortage of personnel in this environment, explained one of the project managers, Mariève Pelletier. We also hear about the workload, we hear that it is a job that is becoming more and more difficult for various reasons. And with COVID, it is an environment that has been particularly affected by many measures that had to be put in place, and which were not easy to put in place either.

After two years of the pandemic, she added, the researchers considered that the time was right to “really get a better understanding of what the main risk factors are and how these personnel are doing”.

Researchers will focus in particular on the rate of psychological distress among school staff. They will try to see if certain regions of Quebec are doing better than others and, if so, what lessons can be learned.

“Since the start of the new school year, there has been a new reality facing school staff, said Ms. Pelletier, who believes that the portrait that will be painted after two years of the pandemic will be faithful to reality.

“The virus is here to stay and there are going to be new waves over the next few years. And we ask COVID-specific questions to be able to distinguish if there are things that are specifically related to the pandemic. So I don’t think it distorts reality.”

The survey is aimed at public preschool, elementary and secondary school staff in the province, both English and French. Teaching, professional and support staff are invited to participate.

However, it does not concern the staff of school service centres, school boards, vocational training centers or adult education centres.

Ms. Pelletier and her colleagues hope to be able to count on the participation of some 20,000 employees of the public school system.

The online questionnaire, lasting 30 to 45 minutes, is available in French and English until April 8.

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