Why is Stress Awareness Month important? 


We all know that stress at work can have a devastating impact on someone and that it can have life changing repercussions for them as well as their family, friends and work colleagues.

stress awareness month

stress awareness month

In 2022/23:

  • There were 875,000 reported cases of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety.
  • Stress, depression, or anxiety constituted 49% of all work-related ill-health cases, resulting in 54% of all lost working days.
  • The primary work factors contributing to stress, depression, or anxiety included job demands, lack of control, insufficient support and information, work relationships, and role expectations.

Stress in the workplace

There are three main reasons employers should look to prevent work-related stress and support good mental health; it’s the law, it’s beneficial for business and it aligns with ethical principles.

Regardless of company size, the law requires all employers to prevent work related stress to support good mental health in the workplace for a healthy work environment. Neglecting this responsibility can result in decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and the loss of valuable team members.

What can employers do?

  • Ensure that senior leaders grasp the significance of workplace health and well-being and integrate measures to prioritise it throughout the organisation.
  • Provide training for line managers on effective people management. Line managers play a pivotal role in employee well-being by ensuring manageable workloads, setting clear objectives, and fostering trust-based relationships. They should feel confident in conducting sensitive conversations and offering support and flexibility when team members require adjustments to manage their health and work effectively.
  • Offer prompt access to occupational health support and specialised resources such as counselling or physiotherapy.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of absenteeism and unhealthy practices within the organisation, such as presenteeism and leaveism. Addressing these underlying issues is essential for sustaining efforts to enhance health and well-being.
  • Tailor policies and practices to fit the specific needs of the organisation and its employees. An effective employee well-being strategy should be customised based on unique organisational characteristics and employee demographics.
  • Establish a robust organisational framework that promotes mental well-being and fosters a culture where individuals feel comfortable discussing mental health issues and seeking assistance when needed.
  • Conduct a risk assessment or audit to identify the main causes of work-related stress across the workforce, enabling a proactive approach to prevention.

Most importantly, talk, be kind and take the time to check in with others.

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