April marks the start of Stress Awareness Month – an annual campaign to increase public awareness of the causes and cures of what has been described as ‘one of the great public health challenges of our time’. Despite running for 27 years, this annual campaign is more relevant than ever. With increased pressures on the sector, the wellbeing of those working in it has certainly come to the fore. If you’ve been following the pharmacy media of late you will have seen the latest Health Education England report on ‘NHS Staff and Learners Mental Wellbeing Commission’, the RPS’s response to this asking for equal access for pharmacists to their mental health plans and then the follow up series on “Pharmacy Stress” in Chemist and Druggist.
Keen to focus our efforts on developing more proactive ways to assist with these increasing pressures, in 2012 Pharmacist Support set about establishing a wellbeing service to help identify the signs of and effectively manage stress. Seven years later and we have delivered wellbeing focused workshops to 11,000 individuals and seen tens of thousands of views of our fact sheets and webinars – covering everything from managing stress and anxiety to mindfulness and sleep.
We all know that too much pressure, or pressure with no break can lead to stress, which can lead to more serious symptoms such as; anxiety, depression, weight gain/loss, sleep disturbance and panic attacks. And it is important that we understand the signs and symptoms and take action to better manage these pressures. So this Stress Awareness Month, make sure you take some time for yourself to learn about and refresh your wellbeing knowledge. Check out the resources on our site, talk with colleagues, friends, family or our Listening Friends.