Action takes care of the mental health of teachers separated from the school by the pandemic – 26/08/2021

The covid-19 pandemic and all the social isolation imposed to avoid contagion by the new coronavirus shed light on the importance of taking better care of the population’s mental health. Data from the Unified Health System (SUS) from 2020 show that 85% of Brazilians suffer from anxiety in the country. The concern is real and can be found in almost all spheres of the population, but one of them gained extra warmth through the hands of the social project “Fique Bem”.

“Stay Bem is a project of the educational NGO Gaia+ for the teacher, by the teacher and with the teacher. We want to open a space for listening and care for these professionals who bring hope for a better future”, explains project coordinator Eduardo Pacífico. Just like the children, the teachers had their routine completely shaken with the closing of the schools.

The idea was born when the pandemic started. Eduardo remembers that the newspapers did a lot of reporting on the new routines of children and parents, but they didn’t talk about the teachers. Because of the many projects they were doing with Gaia+, contact with professionals was maintained, and complaints began to arrive. “We’re getting crazy and overwhelmed,” most said. So the project decided to organize itself to help these teachers.

Stay well - Team Gaia + - Team Gaia +

School teachers highly praised the light tone of the discussions in such difficult times

Image: Team Gaia +

A multidisciplinary team was formed with educators, health professionals, pedagogues and representatives of city halls to produce explanatory videos with quality content and deliver them to teachers. There were animations talking about anxiety, depression, sleep hygiene, food, self-acceptance that all teachers had to learn to deal with the “new normal”.

After 10 weeks of action, Fica Bem began to intersperse the animations with videos of teachers recounting their teaching experiences in the pandemic, and project professionals answering the main questions that arrived. Then, the Municipal Education Secretariats got in touch and started to promote free and closed lives for teachers.

“At the end of 2020, we thought about whether we had already exhausted the possibilities for videos and whether the project should stop. We spoke with the most active teachers and the decision was unanimous: the project has to continue”, recalls Eduardo. He says that the teachers highly praised the light tone of the discussions in such difficult times, and asked for a written version of the subjects. That’s how the online magazine for Fica Bem was also created.

All videos are aimed at professionals from Kindergarten, Elementary and High School, but they end up serving all professions due to the multidisciplinary team that makes up the project. The magazines also have fixed columns on feminism, racism, the pedagogy of charm, and on compassion at school. The only part restricted to teachers is the training course “Hearts and Minds”, adapted by the project from an original North American course.

“Everything the project teaches we have already experienced in some way. And that makes the delivery more genuine. Now, in 2021, we want to deepen the issues and dialogue with experienced professionals, both in education and in mental health”, contextualizes Eduardo .

The project works with volunteers and sponsorship from philanthropic entities, in addition to ambassadors, such as journalist Mariana Ferrão. In addition to the videos and course, donations are made to children from the Gaia+ Lab project, in the city of Piracicaba, in the interior of São Paulo, where the project is based.

To learn about Fica Bem, access the project’s website: https://fiquebem.dagora.net/index.html
Donations can be made in stationery items, quality masks for children and adults, cleaning supplies, gel alcohol, food baskets and personal hygiene. For those who prefer to donate in cash, the project’s PIX is the company’s CNP: 21.354.603/0001.61