Stress Awareness Day 2015

By Yousif Farah
Stress Awareness Day aims at tackling psychological distress induced through employment, by highlighting the causes and educating people on how to prevent, cope with and eradicate stress.
Wednesday 4 November is the 15th anniversary of the campaign organised by the International Stress Organization UK, the leading UK professional body for stress management and well-being practitioners.
Stress in the workplace can be triggered by one of many factors, including; excess pressure, high expectations, work-related violence and bullying, lack of support from managers and family or financial problems affecting the employee’s productivity.
It is important to remember that stress is part of everyday life and can be a normal reaction to thoughts, feelings or events. In fact stress can be constructive in helping some people work harder and achieve more. However, Stress which is disproportionate to a person’s coping mechanism is likely to lead to distress. This in turn could result in symptoms of anxiety, depression or even suicidal tendencies.
It can also lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and problems with sleeping.
A recent report carried out by Health and Safety Executives, the public body responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, attributes stress and stress related illnesses to the loss of more than 15 million working days in the UK over the past year. This figure covers 206,000 self-reported cases. However, many employees would prefer not to report their condition in fear of stigma or losing their job.
Even though, Stress is widespread and is not confined to a particular sector social work, teaching and public administration record the highest rates of work-related stress.

At Poached Creative over the years we have had collaborations with many organisations concerned with mental health which makes us the more aware of how pivotal mental wellbeing is to both employers and employees.

Our latest collaboration was with Mental Snapp which is a social enterprise endeavouring to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illnesses through a video app that enables mental health service users to tell their own stories by recording short video updates on their mental health, which become a part of their NHS health record. 

 As well as designing their website, our staff attend their meetings on regular basis, we also contribute to their eloquent blog. Read the blog written by myself to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Week 2015.

There are many ways to tackle work-related stress and a great place to start is the HSE guide to combating stress, or the ISMA guide on how to battle stress.

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