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Report: Wyoming teachers want to quit, citing mental health and lack of support


CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Education Association recently put forth a report looking into why teachers in the state are leaving the profession. 

The study was done by Mark Perkins, Ph.D., at the University of Wyoming College of Education with the Wyoming Education Association.

The report surveyed 700 teachers throughout the state, and the following information was found:

  • About 12% of the surveyed teachers said they were quitting teaching by the end of the school year. 65% of the teachers said that if they could quit, they would, but cannot due to financial or other reasons. 
  • The study also found that teachers with higher levels of anxiety and/or depression are more likely to want to quit teaching.
  • Community and professional support correlate with a desire to quit, and professional support has a greater effect on that desire.
  • Since COVID, teachers have seen longer work hours and more incidents of aggression.

When asked, “If I could leave teaching entirely I would, but I feel I have to stay in teaching due to financial or other reasons,” the study found that teachers with anxiety and/or depression strongly agreed, with 21.59% of those who strongly agreed having depression and 15.39% experiencing anxiety. 


The depression and anxiety average was determined by The Beck’s Depression Inventory – Short Form and the General Anxiety Disorder-7 scales.

When asked, “My mental/emotional health makes me think about quitting teaching,” 41% of those surveyed agreed.

The teachers in the survey also reported how COVID-19 affected their working environments. They reported a decline in their mental health, the social climate of their schools, student behaviors and feelings of support. 

Teachers also reported an increase in physical and verbal attacks, as well as slight increases in self-reported incidences of harassment.