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Wednesday 19 December 2018
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on stress

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week (14 to 20 May 2018) is Mental Health Awareness Week. The week is focusing on stress and how we handle it.

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – it’s part of everyday life. But when you’re overwhelmed by stress it may lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust wants to encourage employees and employers to create a mentally healthy workplace where everyone feels valued and supported.

Simple ways to reduce stress and take care of your wellbeing at work include: 

  • Recognising the signs of stress
  • Trying different coping techniques such as deep breathing
  • Trying mindfulness – focusing on the here and now and creating space to think
  • Looking after your physical health – including eating healthily and taking regular exercise

A simple but effective technique is called HALT - Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Stress often makes it harder to keep focused on the things we need to look after ourselves.

Focusing on our most basic needs helps us feel more grounded and in control and is a simple mindfulness technique. Try asking yourself if HALT applies and do something to help:

  • H - Hungry? Take a break and get something to eat
  • A - Angry? Get in touch with someone supportive who can put you at ease
  • L - Lonely? Arrange to spend time with people
  • T - Tired? Give yourself permission to rest.

For employers, steps to a less stressful workplace could include:

  • Creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported
  • Creating a stress-awareness space where staff can share their thoughts when feeling stressed
  • Consider training staff in emotional intelligence and resilience 
        

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 is a great time to think about how we can all address the causes of work-related stress. More information on the week is available from the Mental Health Foundation.