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Stress Awareness Month - April 2021

View profile for Pauline Smith
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Can I make a claim for work-related psychological injuries and stress?

Stress is part of modern life. Despite every conceivable gadget being invented to make our lives “easier”, we have never been so stressed.  The covid pandemic has certainly contributed to people’s worry and concern in a big way. Did you know that over 11 million work days are lost per year due to stress at work?  That’s a fairly alarming statistic.

Running for 29 years, Stress Awareness Month is a campaign aiming to spread awareness about the causes of stress and suggesting remedies to hopefully help us relax and find peace.  The HSE are currently running a campaign to promote awareness of work related stress in particular.  They have produced information to help to identify the causes of work related stress, and to help people to manage this and seek help from their employers. 

Employers do have a duty to protect employees from stress at work, and can help by keeping in touch with their employers regularly – even more important at the moment with significant numbers of us now home working as the “new normal” – carrying out appropriate risk assessments, and giving employees suitable training to identify if their colleagues, or staff are presenting signs of stress.

There are things that we can all do to prevent stress, and promote good mental health such as:

  • Eating well and keeping hydrated
  • Exercising (in whatever form you can comfortably manage)
  • Getting into a good sleep pattern routine
  • Managing your time effectively
  • Meditation or breathing exercises
  • Avoiding triggers that you know will cause you to worry

By adopting these measures, even if you make small changes, this can promote mental wellbeing.  However, if you find that your work is the source of your stress, then hopefully you would be able to approach your employer to see if they can help you to alleviate this.  You do have the right to be protected at work, and if you have any serious concerns about the levels of your stress then your HR or personnel department is a good place to start, along with your line manager.  It might help to speak to your GP about the way that you are feeling.

If you are experiencing stress at work, and need some further help and guidance, please click the following link to find advice from the HSE: Work related stress