‘I feel mortified’: Counseling sessions on the rise for area teachers during COVID-19 pandemic

Education

MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — Third grade students at Decker Elementary in Manor Independent School District are now in their second day of quarantine after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

Manor ISD isn’t the only district with positive cases as teachers and students from districts across Central Texas have experienced similar situations. It’s causing stress and depression for some teachers.

“Before the pandemic I would say I was doing pretty well,” said a teacher who wished to remain anonymous. “I feel mortified every time I have to wake up in the morning and go to school I hardly sleep.”

The teacher tells KXAN she now has a constant fear of contracting COVID-19 and now experiences anxiety and insomnia.

“I have started going to therapy because of the anxiety that has arisen from this situation,” the teacher said.

Hays CISD, like many others, offers an employee assistance program to help teachers who may need someone to talk to. The teacher we spoke with does not work in that district, however.

“Because of the increased anxiety and uncertainty, during this pandemic our employees are utilizing counseling services through Deer Oaks, which I believe is very beneficial at this time,” said Marivel Sedillo, human resources officer with Hays CISD.

The services offer a wide variety of topics teachers can discuss with counselors.

“Coping, financial and fiscal help tips, as well as dealing with grief and elderly care,” Sedillo said.

Sedillo says teachers using the service has increased during the pandemic.

“Obviously we are associating those spikes to the pandemic,” Sedillo said. “However during the second quarter we did see a decrease. Our second quarter covers the summer so therefore they might have felt a little more relaxed.”

The meetings are confidential, and all teachers remain anonymous. Other districts like Austin ISD, Pflugerville ISD and Round Rock ISD offer similar services.

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