National Stress Awareness Month

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A positive and proactive attitude to mental health is hugely beneficial for both employees and employers, as work-related stress was found to account for 40% of all work-related illness in 2015/16 in the UK. A happy and healthy workforce has also been found to be more productive and motivated.

ACAS has identified a number of factors attributed to work related stress including: the demands of the role and how it fits into the organisation, control over work, changes within the organisation, support and relationships.

What can employees do?

If an employee is feeling stressed and this is affecting their work, this can have a detrimental impact on both the employee and the employer. If the employee does have access to support, whether that be inside or outside of the organisation, it may be hugely beneficial to utilise that support.

What can employers do?

There are many actions that employers can take to support their employees:

  • Train some employees as Mental Health First Aiders to act as a point of contact for members of staff struggling with their mental wellbeing
  • Implement mental health training for all employees to increase their awareness of the importance of mental health and to demonstrate that this is being taken seriously in the workplace
  • Draft/update and implement policies and procedures to ensure employees know what to do if they are struggling
  • Encourage senior managers to act as mental health champions for their teams, to encourage the implementation of appropriate coping mechanisms and combatting stress triggers, particularly if patterns are seen to be emerging in particular teams.
  • Enable and encourage employees, as appropriate, to access confidential Employee Assistance Programmes and other external sources of support.

Taking a positive and proactive attitude to mental health has benefits for employers as well as employees. Motivated and committed employees who have the knowledge and coping mechanisms to reach their potential make excellent ambassadors, and valuable assets, for their employers.

Click below to read the guidance published by ACAS:

Dealing with stress in the workplace

Promoting positive mental health in the workplace