Can I add just one more project to your workload?
Can you just do this? Can you just do that? Pressure, pressure building, heart beating faster, feeling hot, I must get a drink, no time to drink, no time to eat, next task, next task!
Confusion! Trying to sleep but my mind is buzzing. Next task, next task! But can’t concentrate to complete any task.
I’m losing control, next task, next task, no one understands. Just as I think I have everything under control, things change again. No control, no control! I just can’t go on like this. Bills to pay, work to be completed, jobs to be done, next task, next task!
No more; no more, I will snap!
Have you ever felt like this? About to explode with so much going on?
I hear people talk about stress being good, that it motivates you to build resilience. But what is stress? And what does it actually mean?
The Health and Safety Executive states stress is ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them. Hmm, “Adverse reaction”, so nothing positive here and no reference to levels of resilience. So it’s a myth to say stress is positive. Of course people need goals, aims and targets, that’s about motivation and being driven; that is not stress. Stress has no positives to it.
Here are some facts:
- There were 602,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or longstanding) in 2018/19 Labour Force Survey (LFS)
- 12.8 million working days are lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety (LFS)
- Mental Health Foundation 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope
- Each year between £33.4 and £40 billion is lost due to reduced output for employers and the self-employed.
Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by completing a risk assessment and acting upon it. The Health and Safety Executive has really useful information for employers on how to look for signs of stress within teams and how to combat stress in the workplace.
Stress.org.uk has lots of useful information on how to combat your own stress, and you can even complete your own stress test and receive a personalised report.
As a First Aid for Mental Health Instructor, I am aware of the impact that stress has on each person’s mental health and wellbeing. Having qualified mental health first aiders within the workplace can have a direct positive impact on the support that stressed employees can receive in a timely manner before it gets to the stage of them having time off work due to their stress levels.
Having staff who are trained to support individuals struggling with stress or other mental health concerns, being able to signpost them to the correct support mechanisms, and enabling early intervention can have a huge positive impact on both the individual and the organisation.
Connect2Care offers three levels of First Aid for Mental Health training:
Level 1: 1/2 day course. Suitable for anyone over the age 14, it provides knowledge on how to recognise suspected mental ill health and gives the skills to start a conversation with the person and signpost towards professional help. It is a great starting point towards First Aid for Mental Health.
Level 2: One day course. Suitable for anyone over the age 14, it is aimed at helping employers to provide a positive culture towards mental health within the workplace. Learners build knowledge of the most common mental health conditions and how to start a conversation with the person and signpost as required. By successfully completing this course, learners can be considered as a point of contact within the workplace to support First Aid for Mental Health.
Level 3: Suitable for anyone over the age of 16. This two day course builds on the knowledge from level 2 and covers a wider range of mental health conditions. It builds on the range of therapies and treatment options available. It is suitable for all staff but is aimed at those who hold a supervisory/managerial position, and who have responsibility for supporting and implementing a positive mental health culture within the workplace. They can be classed as the responsible person for First Aid for Mental Health upon successful completion of this course.
For more information on how Connect2Care’s specialist trainers, who have a wealth of mental health experience, can tailor these courses to meet your organisation’s needs please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Lindsey Appleby-Flynn, Connect2Care Adult Health and Social Care Lead