Stress Awareness Month
Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for what has been described as a stress epidemic. The theme for this year’s awareness raising campaign is is Community. It is recognised that lack of support can cause loneliness and isolation, which in turn lowers people’s wellbeing, impacts mental health and can lead to mental illness. Whilst social isolation is an important risk factor for both deteriorating mental health and suicide, organisational isolation is also an important consideration.
This is an important subject for businesses to consider – particularly if employees are still working from home and are less “visible” to managers. What are you doing in as a community at work, to support your employees and monitor their stress?
A sense of “community” provides a sense of belonging and connection to others; it is about feeling supported and accepted. Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives and it is important that managers are trained to build and develop internal relationships with their teams.
A lack of community support can result in feelings of social isolation and loneliness – which at work are associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress and for this reason it is important that businesses address the question of stress at work – how better to tackle this subject than using stress awareness month to build a sense of community in the office; whether that means organising office get togethers or checking in with your team, building a sense of community at work may alleviate stress and result in less absence, higher levels of productivity and a strong employee retention record.