The importance of Stress Awareness Month and how you can support your employees

The importance of Stress Awareness Month and how you can support your employees

Many organisations this month have been highlighting that April is Stress Awareness Month.

In our latest article we’re taking a look at why stress awareness month is important and how businesses can support employees as they become affected by stress.

Why do we have Stress Awareness Month?

Stress awareness month helps us to acknowledge factors that contribute to our stress; whether those factors are personal or work related, it’s vital that we learn how to manage them so they don’t impact our mental or physical health.

You may be wondering why Stress Awareness Month is needed; well to give you an idea about how it affects adults across the UK, a recent ‘stress’ related survey found that 79% of participants felt stressed at least once a month. Exploring the data even further, the survey found that on average, a typical UK adult feels stressed approximately 8.27 days a month.

2,000 people took part in this survey, which is a small fraction of the UK adult population, however this does give an inclination as to how stress is affecting us.

How to support employees who are struggling with stress and challenging situations

In 2020, Perkbox found that work related stress was the most common form of stress, in the UK. After the last two years, it’s possible that work related stress has increased due to work environments changing, workloads rising and employees having to achieve work related goals during a global pandemic.

From all of this, it’s safe to say that employees will need help to manage stress, as they continue to face challenging times.

Here, we take you through just some of the steps that you can take to support those around you:

  • Give your employees spaces to talk about how they are feeling  

Open up inviting, private spaces in your office to give employees that safe environment to talk about their stress and how it’s impacting their wellbeing. If employees are working from home, you can also provide them with wellbeing or reporting toolkits, which virtually gives them that safe space to talk.

Discover our wellbeing services, here, to see how they can benefit your staff. Find out more about one service, Edtesa Wellbeing, in this short video:

  • Give your staff time to step away from work 

Productivity is key in businesses and organisations, however no employee should be sat at their desks for eight hours a day. That type of culture can increase stress, as employees are constantly facing work and deadlines.

Bring in a more positive work culture, by encouraging your employees to take some time away from their desks, whether they’re at home or in the office!

  • Inform employees on ways that they can take care of themselves  

This article from BBC Worklife explored how workplaces were opening up forums to inform employees about habits and actions that can improve mental health. Similarly, you can host workshops and classes on how to improve factors (such as sleep), that contribute to stress.

Stress Awareness Month may only be acknowledged in April but the points we’ve taken you through can, and should, be implemented all year round.

Remember to take a look at our wellbeing and reporting services, to discover how they can help your workforce.

The NHS also provide informative resources and advice on stress, to help increase your knowledge. For further guidance on workplace wellbeing, take a look at our range of articles which provide support and advice around many factors affecting UK workplaces.

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