Fitness to teach - ODWatch
I am hoping to do a PGCE and I am really worried about submitting my fitness to teach form. I went through a few months of feeling depressed and anxious during my second year of university and was put on an anti-depressant from sept 2018 - june 2019. I had an attempted OD in dec 2018. I stopped medication cold turkey in june 2019 and haven't seen my doctor since about mental health, it was impossible to get appointments and I felt that I was recovering and feeling a lot better on my own. Since June 2019 I have fully recovered and have no feelings of anxiety and depression and consider myself fully recovered. I am concerned because the last time my doctor saw me was to prescribe me medication before June 2019 and I am worried because I have not been to my doctor regularly about my mental health that they will not sign me off as fit to teach. I know I am fit to teach and the OD and period of depression was not work/study related. I don't know what to do as I am aware we are supposed to declare all MH history. (I was never diagnosed with anything and the OD attempt is a shameful blip in my life) If I do not declare anything on my ITT form will I be asked to give access to my medical records by teaching jobs in the future? I know my choices to go cold turkey and not speak to the doctors more were stupid however I have grown a lot since then and I have no feelings of depression or anxiety at all anymore.
If the uni decide it is necessary, then you would have a further occupational health assessment, and this would decide whether you are fit to teach or not.
You can't hide anything on your medical records, as you doctor needs to sign off the form. Each time you take a teaching job you have to fill in a health questionnaire, but you don't usually need a doctor to sign this off.
Most mental health issues aren't in themselves a barrier to teaching. However, usually unis want to see a long, stable period and know that you have good coping mechanisms in place. I'm honestly not sure how they would view your situation, but I think it's better to be completely honest and disclose everything. If it's felt that you're not fit to teach at this time, that's better than you being put in a situation which harms your mental health and potentially puts students in danger as well.