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  • Jenny Rooks

The Stress Implosion affecting the Workforce

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Stress is a difficult journey to negotiate to find a way through. The craziness of it seems to subsume you at every turn. Where you can turn for help is unclear and equally as muddling is the mixed messages from employers.

Employers offer a range of wellness options - like gyms, flexible working from home, a more personalised approach, mental health support, and what is claimed to be a more supportive team ethos. However, how many of the affected employees are unable to find the time to engage in the wellness support schemes being offered. I ask myself whether it is any wonder when you consider the intensity and quantity of the work schedule and unrealistic and demanding deadlines/targets that eat in to limited leisure time.

Family and parenting demands on top of punishing work schedules can cause high levels of distress to working parents. This can add to the stress levels throughout the day as guilt and competing demands pull at the heart strings.

How can we slow it all down and make time for the notion of wellness to be embraced. Employers are so driven by high demand and immediate response that human beings have become machines. On the one hand you have employers spending millions trying to promote a care culture without taking heed of the upwards of 60% of staff not able to use such facilities due to time pressures and resulting stress.

Concluding then that probably those who need it the most cannot access employer support schemes. Considering where to go as an employee for mental health support can be a challenge. Are we really being forced in to just waiting for the stress implosion to hit us and then just using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to help mop up the mess?

Somehow currently it feels like dealing with it at the wrong end of the spectrum when life gets out of control, particularly when the impact on one's life can be so great effecting all areas of personal functioning. For employers the average length of time spent off work with a stress related illness is five to six months which has a huge resource and cost implication. Food for thought and decisions for the better use of mental health support schemes with more than lip service being paid in the future.

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