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Teachers - anyone with a history of self harm?

(9 Posts)
papertowel Mon 30-May-11 18:51:10

I am nearing the end of my PGCE and I have managed to get a job for September.

I have to send a form back to occupational health and it asks about past medical history including psychological issues.

I do have a history of self harm and have had two brief episodes in the past 7 years, the last one was three years ago.

I have had talking therapy and feel very well now and I think I talked out the issues that led me to self harm.

I have been graded as outstanding throughout my placements and I have extremely good attendance. The children are (obviously) not aware and I do not talk about my past issues at ALL. All my placements say I am professional and they are very happy with me as a student.

I was cleared health wise for the course and I am hoping I will be cleared again.

Any first hand experiences?

Please no nasty remarks - it is so hard to move on from mental health problems and I am so proud that I changed my life.

I don't want to post on TES because I have an established username there and I wish to keep this issue very private. Have obviously name changed on here.

papertowel Mon 30-May-11 18:51:57

I forgot to say, it is a PGCE Primary.

papertowel Mon 30-May-11 20:03:31

hopeful bump

manicinsomniac Mon 30-May-11 23:02:43

Yes.

I am a past and current self harmer. It's very important for me to keep it well hidden at school obviously.

Also did a Primary PGCE.

I'm not overly comfortable talking about it here but feel free to message me if you have any questions.

I do think you'll be fine though.

NotATeacher Thu 02-Jun-11 23:27:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kat2504 Sat 04-Jun-11 11:45:06

I also think you will be fine. You may be asked to attend a medical interview, your health records will probably be checked. But you were cleared for the PGCE, and if you have had no episodes during the course, teaching is not going to harm your health. If you have had good attendance and health throughout your course, and your medical records from your therapy are positive, there is no reason for them not to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Obviously I don't want to mention my own experiences in this forum, but if you can show that you are recovered, there should not be an issue.

Congratulations on getting a job and well done for your outstanding performance on your course. Mental illness is very hard to recover from and you must have come a very long way to get better. Well done!

reallytired Mon 06-Jun-11 21:03:52

I am not a teacher, but I have had mental health issues. I work as an IT technician and I had to fill out the LEA occupational health form. I filled out the form honestly and I did have some one from occupational health phone me to ask questions. It did not stop me getting the job.

Depression/ anxiety / self harm is very common. The disablity discrimination act make it harder for employers to withdraw an offer of employment. In general the public sector are more understanding about mental health than the private sector.

PonceyMcPonce Mon 06-Jun-11 21:07:44

One teacher in our (secondary) school has very clear and high in number scars from cutting. She does not cover them, nor have I heard anyone mention them, so maybe less of a big deal than you might think. School is pretty enlightened though (we have a noticeboard dedicated to ways to avoid scarring for self harmers, along with helpful services).

Teacher is nqt as well, so presumably not a barrier.

Good luck

HauntedLittleLunatic Mon 06-Jun-11 21:15:49

Hi papertowel (and others)

I can't answer your original OP but maybe you can answer a question for me. I am due to start a PGCE in Sept (secondary). I previously had 12m on ADs. After a recent breakup I know I am feeling very fragile emotionally, I know that support from GP would help me through this, but I am worried about the fitness to teach aspect. I have already sent back my medical questionaire to PGCE provider so suspect any medical help I seek now will be irrelevant as I will already have had my fitnes to teach assessment but I am still holding off worried about my PGCE place.

Any advice - either regarding the PGCE or (as you are considering now) future job applications. I want to get through this sooo much without ADs but am really struggling and suspect I will struggle more on the actual PGCE because of the additional stresses and demands of the course.

I know it is trivial compared to the questions you are asking and I hope you can see the relevance.

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