Helping Employees Cope With Stress

By Douglas B. Reeves

“It’s the worst I’ve seen in more than 30 years,” said one superintendent. He wasn’t talking about test scores, board politics, or union issues, but the human toll that stress and anxiety were taking on him, his colleagues, students, and community members.

After one round of layoffs, the superintendent described the remaining employees as “walking wounded,” grieving over lost friends and straining under the weight of a greater workload.

Growing demands and declining resources in school systems, along with economic challenges faced by family members of employees and students, cause stress that not only adversely influences employee morale and health, but also has a cascading effect throughout the system.

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