Stress Awareness Day: How Open Are Employers?

Stress is an increasingly common mental health concern, yet employees are afraid to admit to their bosses that they’re feeling over-taxed. November 3 was Stress Awareness Day in England, and a British mental health charity called MIND has released a new study which illustrates the extent of this unspoken concern. It finds that one in five workers has called in sick because of stress, but 93% of those workers pretended to have other problems. Employers should be encouraged to talk about stress, take employee feedback, and address stress overload by providing stress counseling, mentoring, or other on-the-job support. Improving the mental health environment that employees come to each day can only improve their performance and commitment to the organization: it’s good business in more ways than one.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Bethany

    Bethany

    November 8th, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    I one time had a boss where the only person who could be stressed or having a bad day was her. No matter what was going on in your own life she always had something that was bigger and worse. And consequently feeling like I could never tell her anything that was going on in my own life made me even more stressed out! No one was supposed to have it any worse than she did, and honestly I got tired of playing the role of therapist. No wonder her business closed.

  • martin

    martin

    November 8th, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    not paying attention to your employees’ mental health is no different than not paying attention to their physical health.but this happens in most of the workplaces.the bosses almost always believe that their employees are robots and can be stretched to do any amount of work.this needs to change.we need more awareness in the employers.

  • Oli Hille

    Oli Hille

    November 8th, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    If you boil down all of the research and the plethora of books, stress is essentially:

    Doing something you don’t like, under pressure.

    Think about it:

    Sitting in a traffic jam when you are hot and bothered and in a hurry.
    Working on a boring report for your boss until 3am.
    Trying to find a way to get the 22 items on your “must do” list done by 5pm.
    Interpersonal conflicts with close family and friends.
    Of course not everything you do in a day is unpleasant. But stress is often caused by trying to fit into our day all of the activities we are really excited about, on top of those activities we have to do but are not excited about. This causes the pressure that leads to stress.

    See my web page:

    Oli Hille
    Author

  • Sandra.S

    Sandra.S

    November 9th, 2010 at 5:15 AM

    Taking care of your employees’ happiness is one of the ways to success for any business. All the bosses need to start taking lessons on how to actually manage their staff because most do not know even that!

  • Angela

    Angela

    November 9th, 2010 at 5:48 AM

    Sadly I think that there are still a lot of employers who want the don’t ask don’t tell policy in their businesses when it comes to knowing things that are going on in the lives of their employees. They want to hide and mask the truths that many of us are feeling and making many feel lost with no where to turn. When something like this so greatly affects your job performance you should feel like you have the ability to talk with your boss about what is going on and let then try to help you find some help. But I think that especially in todays tough economy people are afraid to admit that something could be affecting them in a negative way because they could be afraid of losing their job.

  • wren

    wren

    November 9th, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    the employers’ minds have just one thing running-profits! nothing else matters much to them.and if you do happen to mention stress,they will just tell you that when everybody else is facing stress and is working then why can’t you.this is an unreasonable reply but that is what they say most often,sometimes in a nice way and others in a fit of rage!

  • gamecockfan96

    gamecockfan96

    November 10th, 2010 at 5:43 AM

    Employers are neevr open and willing to talk about issues that they think are going to hurt their bottom line. That’s just the way it is. With something like this going on in life the best thing you can do to protect your rep and your job most likely is to keep your mouth shut.

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