Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.
Identified as ‘one of the great public health challenges of our time’, stress is a concerningly prevalent symptom of modern life and work. The last two years have been the most challenging we have confronted and despite restrictions having largely been lifted, people require support now more than ever as they adapt to a new way of living.
It has been reported that 17.9 million working days were lost in the UK due to stress, anxiety and depression in 2019/2020.
Signs of stress for employers to look out for include:
- Increased and prolonged sickness absence
- Decreased performance
- High staff turnover
- Greater number of complaints, grievances, and disciplinaries
With current NHS services under pressure, employers need to take steps to support their employees as much as possible.
What you can do:
- Openly discuss stress and its effects – In doing so we work together to reduce the stigma associated with stress. Sharing coping mechanisms and learning how to spot signs of stress at work can be an excellent way to achieve this.
- Introduce employee wellbeing initiatives in the workplace, such as:
– bike/walk to work schemes
– on-site yoga classes for stress relief
– walking meetings
– discounts at local gyms
– flexible work hours
– provide healthy office snacks
– mindfulness and mental health awareness training
– employee Assistant Programmes
– wellbeing groups
- Promoting taking breaks to ‘stretch your legs, take a break, check your posture’.
- Run employee surveys to understand issues stemming from stress before they result in staff illness or impact on productivity. This also provides staff with an opportunity to voice any concerns in a safe way.
For more information about Stress Awareness Month please visit the website here: https://www.stress.org.uk/national-stress-awareness-month