Stress awareness month: How can we reduce stress?

When was the last time you felt stressed? Probably recently. According to a 2018 YouGov study, in the past year, 74% of people felt they were under great stress or unable to cope.

The latest estimates from the Labor Force Survey show that the total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2018/19 was 602,000, which works out to 1,800 per 100,000 workers. It is having an impact on our mental health – and businesses are having an economic impact. This leads to lost production for employers and £ 33.4 for self-employment – £ 43.0 billion according to a 2017 Thrive at Work study.

And work-related stress and anxiety are the leading cause of ill health and sickness absence in the UK, HSE figures revealed today in 2018. The city is a busy, frantic and high-pressure place – no wonder some people are managing their stress levels hard.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and experts across the country will join forces to raise public awareness of the causes and treatment of our modern stress concerns – and enable people to develop strategies to address it.

One such resource has been developed by Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Samaritans and PwC. Well being in the workplace (Formerly Wellbeing in the City) is an online learning program that demonstrates Samaritans’ expertise in listening and in the workplace. It teaches employees to take care of their emotional health and exit skills for others before they reach a crisis point.

Well being in the workplace Resources allow individuals to learn at their own pace, at their desk or at home. In less than five minutes, activists can learn skills that will help them understand the importance of emotional health and have the confidence to reach a coworker, friend, or family member who is struggling to cope.

The response has been fantastic:

  • 93% say it has helped them recognize emotional distress in others
  • 93% now recognize the importance of caring for their own well being
  • 90% now feel more confident in approaching someone in emotional distress

Adam Spreadbury of The Bank of England says, “I found this online training so valuable. It helps by giving practical suggestions on how to listen and support compassionately, without feeling the need to solve their problems. “

“All the good I was taught in the workplace was that it is safe to ask another human whether they are alright, and not be afraid of their response. On a personal level, it gave me the confidence and courage to be more open with my team about my mental health, ”says Holly Buckley, Leeds Building Society

More than 13,000 employees from over 900 organizations have completed wellbeing in workplace resources to date.

Matt Locke, head of corporate partnerships at Samaritans, says:

“City life can be stressful. We know that listening saves life. We aim to help people before they reach a crisis point.

Thanks to the Lord Mayor’s appeal and PwC, we created Wellbeing in the workplace to provide people with access to key Samaritans skills to help them build healthier, happier workplaces.

People tell us that our wellbeing in a workplace tool suits the busy pace of work life while giving them the skills to take care of their emotional health and also pay attention to others. “

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