Facts from some of the research that’s been done about Stress Relief UK.
“You give up your power when you give up your responsibility”
Richard Bach – Author
To identify the extent of the problem of stress in the UK I looked at some of the research that’s been undertaken. What I found was that most information relates to the workplace, presumably because there are structures in place to illicit this information.
Facts regarding stress in the home and life situations in general are not as easy to come by, although I did find some on the stress being experienced by British pupils who are now considered to be the most tested children in the world!
Some of the figures are astounding and indicate very clearly that, not only is it a major problem, but many people are either enduring it without support or using some inappropriate self-help techniques that are, particularly in the longer term, not conducive to their well-being (e.g. using alcohol.)
As a Personal Coach it concerns me greatly that people are not seeking the help they need and are suffering unnecessarily. Life is to be enjoyed and, although we all have our difficult times, many people spend their lives in turmoil when there are strategies available that could help them to live wonderful lives.
Here are some of the facts I discovered:
1. Work Related Stress:
- It’s estimated that around half a million people in the UK suffer from work-related stress that they feel is making them ill with around 5 million people admitting to feeling extremely stressed by work;
- Something like 12.8 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2003/4; work-related stress costs society between £3.7 billion and £3.8 billion every year, according to government figures.
- In 2004, a CBI survey of 500 firms found the average private industry worker took 7.2 days off sick per year; nationally private sector sick-leave costs £1.75 billion with the loss of 25 million working days in 2004.
- Excessive workloads, job cuts and rapid change in the workplace were cited as the most common causes of men in British suffering high rates of stress and depression. Many of them are turning to alcohol as a coping strategy, rather than facing up to the issue and 17% have seen a doctor about their stress levels.
- The TUC showed six out of 10 (61%) of union safety reps found stress to be their most pressing concern at work. Two years ago the survey identified 58% of reps citing stress as the number one hazard at work, whereas in 2002 this figure was just 56%.
- The truth is that stress in the workplace can be prevented but employers clearly aren’t doing enough to help (Because they don’t know what needs to be done). People suffering from the effects of stress aren’t weak whimps – their symptoms really do make them ill with high blood pressure, depression, heart attacks and bowel problems etc.
2. General/Life Stress:
- Money is one of the biggest causes of stress, with work being the next highest. Many people state that stress made them irritable and it disturbed their sleep patterns. Alcohol was considered to help to make them feel less anxious.
3. Children and school stress:
- British children are now the most tested in the world, resulting in a high degree of exam stress, with the age of the sufferers increasingly lowering
- Many children are reported to have sleepless nights, eating disorders and other illnesses, all caused by the emotional stress of exams.
Part of the problem is ‘pushy parents’ who have very high expectations, often higher than the child can hope to attain, and this can cause them to become physically ill. Failing schools are another cause
Stress relief in UK is therefore, unquestionably a major problem for all ages, and since it appears that it isn’t being addressed sufficiently, it’s more important than that individuals take more responsibility for looking after themselves.