Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this year for Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May), we’re focusing on stress. Research has shown that two-thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.
By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide. We will look at how we can tackle stress and help improve our mental health.
Results of the Mental Health Foundation’s 2018 study
The study was an online poll undertaken by YouGov and had a sample size of 4,619 respondents. This is the largest known study of stress levels in the UK.
- In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
- 30% of older people reported never feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope in the past year, compared to 7% of young adults.
- 46% reported that they ate too much or ate unhealthily due to stress. 29% reported that they started drinking or increased their drinking, and 16% reported that they started smoking or increased their smoking.
- 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed and 61% reported feeling anxious.
- Of the people who said they had felt stress at some point in their lives, 16% had self-harmed and 32% said they had had suicidal thoughts and feelings.
- 37% of adults who reported feeling stressed reported feeling lonely as a result.
Causes of stress
- 36% of all adults who reported stress in the previous year cited either their own or a friend/relative’s long-term health condition as a factor. This rose to 44% of adults over 55.
- Of those who reported feeling stressed in the past year, 22% cited debt as a stressor.
- For people who reported high levels of stress, 12% said that feeling like they need to respond to messages instantly was a stressor.
- 49% of 18-24-year-olds who have experienced high levels of stress, felt that comparing themselves to others was a source of stress, which was higher than in any of the older age groups.
- 36% of women who felt high levels of stress-related this to their comfort with their appearance and body image, compared to 23% of men.
- Housing worries are a key source of stress for younger people (32% of 18-24-year-olds cited it as a source of stress in the past year). This is less so for older people (22% for 45-54-year-olds and just 7% for over 55s).
- Younger people have higher stress related to the pressure to succeed. 60% of 18-24-year-olds and 41% of 25-34-year-olds cited this, compared to 17% of 45-54s and 6% of over 55s).
How to manage and reduce stress
The Mental Health Foundation has put a brilliant and informative guide which outlines the definition of stress, how to identify the signs of stress and how to help reduce the effects of stress.
Click here for the website.
CLCA staff must undertake an Annual Mandatory Training programme which covers within it Mental Health. This is crucial for us to ensure quality care and to deliver trusted services that are safe for our clients.
We offer opportunities to undertake a Mandatory Training day across the year set up by CLCA, which involves a combination of classroom teaching and practical activities to guarantee that the standards our clients deserve are achieved.