Stress Awareness Month – April 2022

Stress Awareness Month – April 2022

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.  The last two years have been the most challenging we have faced and in 2020 our national health services were overwhelmed by people that were struggling and seeking support. This year’s theme is Community. 
The article below will provide you with information on stress awareness month, including, This Years Theme, Help & Guidance for Employers, Stress Busters, and finally further information and guidance. 
The information from this article has been taken from the Stress Management Society, NHS, and HSE websites. 

Stress Awareness Month Theme
This year’s theme is Community.  The theme has been chosen as having a lack of support can cause loneliness and isolation, which in turn can have an effect on people’s well-being and mental health which could then lead to mental illness.

Social isolation is a big risk factor for both mental health and suicide. As things have returned to the new ‘normal’ way of living it’s vital that the community support continues as experienced by many people during the challenging time the pandemic caused, and as we all know still continues to be challenging for many. Although most restrictions have now been lifted, people will still need support now more than ever as we all adjust to this new way of living.

The pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the nation’s mental health and sense of community.  Disrupted social lives, the cancellation of large gatherings, travel restrictions, and working from home have kept us in one place for long periods of time. However, one positive to emerge from this pandemic has been the community spirit and support shown by so many to so many.

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Help & Guidance for Employers (HSE)
The information below has been taken from the HSE website.

If workers appear to start acting differently, it could be a sign that they are stressed.

Everyone should look out for signs of stress in their teams and other colleagues. Some of these signs are listed below. It should also be considered whether the stress could be linked to pressure from work.

Recognising this early and acting straight away could reduce the impact of pressure and make it easier to reduce or remove the causes.

If you as an employer are worried that a worker is showing some of these signs, it should be encouraged for them to contact their GP. The signs of stress can also be symptoms of other conditions. If it becomes apparent that something is wrong at work, and this has caused the problem, appropriate action should be taken. 

Signs of stress in a worker
A change in the way someone acts can be a sign of stress, for example they may:

  • Take more time off
  • Arrive for work later
  • Being more twitchy or nervous

A change in the way someone thinks or feels can also be a sign of stress, for example:

  • Mood swings
  • Being withdrawn
  • Loss of motivation, commitment, and confidence
  • Increased emotional reactions – being more tearful, sensitive, or aggressive

Stress Busters
 If you’re stressed, the first step to feeling better is to try and identify the cause.

The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.

Below are some tips to help you manage stress:

  • Be active
  • Take control
  • Connect with people
  • Have some ‘me time’
  • Challenge yourself
  • Avoid unhealthy habits
  • Help other people
  • Work smarter, not harder
  • Try to be positive
  • Accept the things you can’t change

For further details on the stress busters listed above, click here. This will take you directly to the NHS website.

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Further Information & Guidance

We have provided some links to useful websites below. This includes those that we have taken some of the information from provided in this article. 

Stress Management Society

Every Mind at Work


Mates in Mind

Mind Charity