When was the last time you felt stressed? Probably recently. According to a 2018 YouGov study, in the previous year, 74% of people felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that the total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2018/19 was 602,000, which works out at 1,800 per 100,000 workers. It’s taking its toll on our mental health – and having an economic impact on businesses. This leads to lost output for employers and the self-employed of £33.4 — £43.0 billion per according to the Thriving At Work study of 2017.
And work-related stress and anxiety is the leading cause for ill health and sickness absence in Britain, HSE statistics today revealed in 2018. The City is a busy, frantic, and high pressured place – no wonder some people are finding managing their stress levels difficult.
April is Stress Awareness Month, and experts across the country will be joining forces to increase public awareness about the causes and cures for our modern stress worries – and enable people to develop strategies to address it.
One such resource has been developed by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Samaritans and PwC. Wellbeing in the Workplace (formerly Wellbeing in the City) is an online learning programme which brings Samaritans’ listening and wellbeing expertise into the workplace. It teaches employees the skills to look after their emotional health and look out for others, before they reach crisis point.
The Wellbeing in the Workplace resources allow individuals to learn at their own pace, at their desk or at home. In as little as five minutes, workers can learn skills that will help them understand the importance of emotional health and have the confidence to reach out to a colleague, friend or family member who might be struggling to cope.
The response has been fantastic:
- 93% say it has helped them to recognise emotional distress in others
- 93% now recognise the importance of looking after their own wellbeing
- 90% now feel more confident approaching someone in emotional distress
Adam Spreadbury, from The Bank of England, says “I found this online training so valuable. It helps by giving practical tips about listening and giving support compassionately, without feeling the need to solve their problems.”
“What Wellbeing in the Workplace taught me was that it’s safe to ask another human if they are ok, and not be afraid of their response. On a personal level, it gave me the confidence and courage to be more open with my team about my own mental health,” says Holly Buckley, Leeds Building Society
More than 13,000 employees from over 900 organisations have completed the Wellbeing in the Workplace resources to date.
Matt Lock, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Samaritans, says:
“City life can be stressful. We know that listening saves lives. Our aim is to help people before they reach crisis point.
Thanks to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and PwC, we’ve created Wellbeing in the Workplace to give people access to key Samaritans skills to help build healthier, happier workplaces.
People tell us that our Wellbeing in the Workplace tool suits the busy pace of work life while giving them the skills to look after their emotional health, and to look out for others too.”