Mental Health Awareness Week – Stress

This years focus for Mental Health Awareness Week is Stress.

How many of us are stressed?

Information on how many people in the UK population as a whole are affected by stress is very limited. However, the recent survey completed by the Mental Health Foundation found that over the past year, almost three quarters (74%) of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. The survey, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and undertaken by YouGov, polled 4,169 adults in the UK in 2018. You can download a copy of their report here.

Recommendations for less stressed nation included:

1. Health and social care professionals should assess and address the psychological and other stressors experienced by people living with long-term physical health conditions.

2. People presenting to a ‘first point of contact’ service in distress should receive a compassionate and trauma-informed response, regardless of where they live in the country.

3. Government and the Health & Safety Executive must ensure that employers treat physical and psychological hazards in the workplace equally and help employers recognise and address psychological hazards in the workplace under existing legislation.

4. Governments across the UK should introduce a minimum of two mental health days for every public sector worker.

5. Mental health literacy should be a core competency in teacher training. This should be combined with rolling out mental health literacy support for pupils in schools across the UK to embed a ‘whole-school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing.

6. The government should conduct an impact assessment of welfare reform and austerity programmes on mental health.

7. More research is needed on the prevalence of stress in the population, and on how the experience of stress can be reduced at the community and societal level.

Test your stress

See how stressed you are by taking the short test, which uses the evidence-based perceived stress scale (PSS). Take the test here.

credit: Mental Health Foundation

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