It’s mental health awareness week and, well, it’s off to a bleak start. A study called Stress: Are we coping? looked into whether or not people in the UK were handling stress well and the answering was a resounding no.
The study, commissioned by Mental Health Foundation, looked into how stress affected over 4600 adults in the UK and found that 74% of people at one point felt that they were ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’. On top of that, 82% also revealed they faced high levels of stress at some point in a regular week and eight percent ‘that felt stressed all the time’.
Apparently, women are generally more stressed than men (89% versus 76%) and there was also a worrying trend of African-Caribbean women in particular facing high levels of stress, which the charity claimed was ‘linked to reported incidents of racism’.
The charity’s survey also revealed that more than a third of people (32%) had experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings as a result of their stress, with 16% self-harming as a result of it.
The foundation’s study was accompanied by recommendations on managing stress levels nationwide, with a set of seven guidelines for the government and health/social care professionals. They included changing the way health and social care professionals react to stressors in patients, which included a ‘compassionate and trauma-informed response’ and introducing ‘mental health literacy’ as a compulsory part of teacher training.
Much of the stress in the report circled back to the workplace, as they reported that half a million people were suffering as a result of it. Unsurprisingly, London has previously been cited the most stressed city in the UK with rigorous overtime and horrific commutes while on the other hand Doncaster was as stress-free as a British city comes.
Accordingly, another big recommendation was that two mental health days should be introduced for public sector workers and pressure on employers to identify and address ‘psychological hazards’ in the workplace.
For those struggling with mental health issues, the Samaritans provide 24/7 support on their hotline 116 123 and can also be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.