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National Stress Awareness Day, 1st November

National Stress Awareness Day

Stress and the management of mental health in the workplace is becoming one of the biggest health concerns. According to UNISON’s 2017 survey on stress, demands on time were the biggest cause of workplace stress. However, with over 60% of employers failing to raise the issue of stress in the workplace it is clearly not being tackled.

1st of November is National Stress Awareness Day.

Stress is a hazard in the workplace just like any other – and must be risk assessed like any other hazard. Stress can also manifest itself in other ways – some that may not be obvious. How many times a day do we hear someone (even ourselves!) say “This is stressing me out” or “I am so stressed!” What do we really mean? Are we really stressed or just under pressure? To answer that question requires us to know exactly what stress is, or more to the point – our employers need to know exactly what stress is and how they should be managing stress at work. Stress is defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.” Stress is not an illness – it is a state. When pressure becomes too excessive or prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop (that’s the adverse reaction otherwise known as stress). Well-designed, organised and managed work is generally good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in work-related stress. Work-related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress, including work-related stress, can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as more errors. The Unison website has some useful advice on Stress at work or you can contact your Unison

Get active in your workplace

UNISON needs you. Did you know that people in workplaces with union reps statistically earn more, get more holidays, get better training and are less likely to be discriminated against?

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Help your UNISON branch

Every member of UNISON belongs to a branch. Why not get active by going along to a branch event to meet other UNISON members and find out what the branch is doing? You’ll be made very welcome and it’s a great chance to find out more about what the union is doing for you.

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