Mental Health Awareness Week, 2018, MHAW18, stress, coping with stressSupporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 – Stress: are we coping?

We will be joining the Mental Health Foundation in supporting and promoting Mental Health Awareness Week from 14-20 May. This year’s theme is entitled ‘Stress: are we coping?’.

Each day this week in promoting Mental Health Awareness Week, we hope to raise awareness, promote practical well being tips, encourage an open dialogue and help lessen the stigma attached to mental health conditions.

Why are we supporting MHAW18?

Mental and physical well being is very important to us and crucial to creating a positive work environment where everyone can thrive.

Across the UK mental health issues are the number one cause of sickness absence. A recent report by the charity Time to Change highlights that:

  • Almost one in three people have experienced mental health issues while in employment.
  • Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year.
  • 95% of employees calling in sick with stress gave a different reason.
  • Just 13% of employees would be comfortable talking about mental illness at work.

What we are doing during MHAW to support the campaign

Throughout the week we will raise awareness by looking at causes stress and how to spot the signs and symptoms. We’ll share and signpost expert advice from the Mental Health Foundation, MIND and the NHS amongst others, providing practical advice on how to prevent unhealthy levels of stress. Activities across our offices include:

Mental well being – informal tea and talks

Physical well being – fruit baskets and exercise.

Monday 14th May – what is stress and where does it come from?

We all experience stress in our lives as part of our reaction to ‘danger’, and yet understanding stress and its causes can often be misunderstood. Fleeting stress can help us focus but negative stress over a long period of time can lead to physical and mental symptoms of stress.

Further reading

Tomorrow we will cover the signs and symptoms of stress.

Tuesday 15th May – what are the symptoms of stress?

During #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek it is important to be able to spot the key signs of stress. There are three different types of symptoms of stress emotional, mental and physical.

We recommend taking a look at MIND’s detailed information on the signs of stress.

Tomorrow we will be focusing on coping strategies and how to deal with stress.

Wednesday 16th May – how to build resilience against stress?

Mental Health Awareness Week, 2018, MHAW18, stress, coping with stressWe are half way through #MHAW18, so today we are thinking about some positive coping strategies and how to implement them.

Here are a few things that you could do at work to #AddressYourStress

  • Talk to someone – communicate your feelings and find solutions that may work towards easing your stress.
  • Take breaks – it is important to take time out on your lunch break, take your holiday entitlement and make sure you leave on time. Here’s a tip from MIND on staying mentally healthy.
  • Organise your time – make a prioritised list in order to work productively, focusing on the tasks that need to be done now not later. Here’s guidance from the NHS.

Tomorrow we will be focusing on communication.

Thursday 17th May – improving communications and helping out

Each day we have looked into stress and its causes, offering practical tips from experts where possible. At times it can be more difficult to manage stress and is not always an easy topic to talk about. By supporting the national campaign we are committed the reducing the stigma and encouraging more openness about discussing stress and stress-related symptoms. We have also taken inspiration from a LawCare blog written by Jonathan, a Partner at Linklaters. 

Jonathan mentions that there appears to be more awareness and that asking for support has helped him. In the workplace we can take time to talk and listen. The Stress Management Society offers excellent guidance on handling conversations and communicating with people. Additionally, it is recommended that eating healthily, taking exercise, and keeping hydrated can improve our physical well being, which in turn can have a positive effect on our mental health

Tomorrow we will be summarising what we have learned from the experts about MHAW18.

Friday 18th May – Summary of #MHAW18

As the Mental Health Fondation campaign closes for this year we are proud to have been part of a larger commitment to raise awareness of mental health and well being, and sharing important information from experts to help individuals and businesses recognise situations which can create stress.

We were also delighted to hear that the #MHAW18 Thunderclap reached over 7.5M people this year and the #MentalHealthMinute featuring high profile individuals broadcast on radio stations across the country magnified the conversation.

We will continue improving awareness of mental health issues across our offices and wider afield.