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Stress Awareness: One in Three Deal with Mental Health Issues

Friday 7th Sep 2018 - Bethany McCormack

This inability to switch off is having a knock-on effect, as many cannot find time to unwind and are in a constant state of readiness. Lately the media have put a lot of focus on this and there has been an abundance of new TV shows and reports focusing on mental health, for example BBC 1 recently produced the programme ‘The Truth about Stress’.

In this programme presenter Fiona Phillips wanted to understand why we are experiencing increased amounts of stress in our lives, the reasons behind the fight and flight response, and what actions we can take in order to reduce it.
Mental health is now getting much-needed recognition and exposure and rightly so. Mental health and individuals’ difficulties with addressing or taking action over it can lead to conditions deteriorating, resulting in further illness or even death. 

Here are some statistics associated with mental health in the workplace from the Mental Health Foundation, a charity dedicated to finding and addressing the sources of mental health problems:

• Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%)
• Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions
• Better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year


Because of the stigma that is still attached to mental health issues, people suffering from issues such as stress, depression and anxiety can be reluctant to disclose their issues to managers, covering up their problems by blaming sickness absence on physical symptoms. Encouraging staff to be open with you and cultivating an atmosphere where people feel that topics surrounding mental health are not taboo can help you work towards finding positive solutions.

With this in mind here are some tips to help alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety or depression.

  • Find a hobby such as; learn a musical instrument, sport or gardening.
  • Consider getting a pet, this is obviously a large undertaking and should be considered so be sure you are ready for the responsibility. 
  • Keep active, you don't have to become a professional athlete but regular exercise such as a 40-minute walk a day can be incredibly beneficial.
  • Eat well, plenty of fruit, veg and drink enough water.
  • Take a break, self-care is incredibly important so make sure you take time out just for yourself.
  • Ask for help, you should never feel embarrassed to ask for help if you feel like you're sinking stop and ask for help. 


Remember you are not alone - there is always someone to talk to, whether its friends, family, your GP or even a helpline, never suffer in silence.

As an employer, balancing the positive impact of pressure with the negative impact of stress is a major concern. Award-winning training providers Thornfields run a thought-provoking course that will equip delegates with the skills they need to balance the positive impact of pressure with the negative impact of stress.

The Managing Pressure at Work course features short-term and long-term stress management techniques, as well as ways to change the way people behave when pressure hits high levels.

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