Further to our last article on the issue of stress at work, National Stress Awareness Day 2018 will be held on the 7th November 2018.
National Stress Awareness Day 2018
National Stress Awareness Day was launched back in 1999 by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) (UK) to highlight the problem of stress, including in the workplace. National Stress Awareness Day 2018 is being held on the 7th November 2018, and is part of International Stress Awareness Week which runs from the 5th-9th November 2018.
Latest Research Into Workplace Stress
In a new survey of trade union health and safety representatives, the TUC found that 69% of the representatives cited workplace stress as one of the top 5 main problems in the workplace.
The public sector was found to have a greater problem with workplace stress compared with the private sector, with concern being cited by 90% of representatives in relation to central government, 85% of representatives with respect to health services, and 84% of representatives in relation to education.
In response to the survey, Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC stated: “It’s easy to make light of ‘health and safety culture’. But it’s no joke lying awake at night from stress, falling ill through working long hours, or being subjected to bullying in the office. Employers and managers need to do more to identify and reduce risks and to provide support to employees struggling to cope.”
With National Stress Awareness Day 2018 less than 1 month away, the most common causes of workplace stress remains excessive workloads, closely followed by a lack of support from management, and workplace bullying, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
As part of a campaign called 100 Stories of Growth, entrepreneur Guy Tolhurst recently shared his story with the BBC in order to address the “taboo” surrounding workplace stress. He said: “[I have suffered from] panic attacks, acute anxiety, depression and stress. We’re not bulletproof just because we are entrepreneurs….[My relationship broke down due partly to my workload, my partner left me, and] I returned home to an empty house after a full day at work. [I] returned to a deafeningly silent home. I realised at what cost I was pursuing my entrepreneurial life. I realised I had lost my support structure at home.“
Plans For National Stress Awareness Day 2018
In relation to National Stress Awareness Day 2018, Carole Spiers, the Chair of ISMA (UK) states that “Stress Awareness Day 2017 was one of our most successful yet, with a number of new events, both live and online, all helping to spread our message…..As ISMA celebrates Stress Awareness Day’s 20th anniversary, we’re going to devote the whole week 5th – 9th November to reducing the taboo associated with stress and mental health. Our theme for 2018, Does Hi-Tech Cause Hi-Stress?, will look at two sides of technology: on the one hand, the stressful effects of the 24/7 lifestyle that technology has brought, and on the other, the positive contribution that technology can make, helping us manage our lives better. There is no doubt that technology impacts on all our lives, and it is appropriate that ISMA is involved in a debate about the positive and the adverse effects it can have, and how we can use technology to our advantage.“