International Stress Awareness Week 2022

7 November 2022General News

International Stress Awareness Week was created in 2018 to raise awareness about stress prevention which since has developed into a major annual event focusing on stress management.

Managing stress, in all aspects of our lives, is incredibly important. 74% of people have reported being unable to cope with the levels of stress in their lives and a worrying 32% have had suicidal thoughts – this demonstrates the prevalence and importance of this topic in many people’s lives and the need to focus on both stress management and prevention, in and out of the workplace.

In our personal lives, doing small activities such as getting exercise, doing something creative or even just listening to music has been proven to boost our mental health positively. There are steps that both employers and employees can take whilst in work to support themselves and others:

  • Regular Breaks – Taking regular and full breaks away from your desk should not be seen as a “perk” and instead should be seen as just as important as an employee’s actual workload. Not allowing breaks or asking employees to work during their break times can result in employees feeling burnout which will have long-term impacts on their work and the business
  • Stress Management Training – Training for all staff, not just people managers, not only gives employees education and tools to help manage stress but also shows that stress and wellbeing are a high priority in their workplace
  • Wellbeing Policies – Ensuring that well-being policies cover topics, such as stress, with escalations in place allows employees to be able to communicate more openly at work and access the right channels
  • Assessing the Risk – Employers should get a clear picture of the current situation at work( E.G if there is a particularly difficult deadline looming) and also current affairs ( E.G the increased cost of living crisis) and aim to keep top of this by having conversation and engagement with employees
  • Internal Knowledgebase – Building an internal knowledgebase that all employees can access can be very effective and really help those who may need it. Even a “quick win” like an internal catalogue of mental health organisations can go a long way!