OCU TV Article – Mental Health & Stress Awareness Day

The first day of November every year is National Stress Awareness Day.

The day was originally organised by the International Stress Management Association, with the mission to raise awareness about the effects of psychological distress in the workplace and to create strategies to address it.

OCU Group recognises that stress can be a significant contributor to mental health challenges, and sometimes it is easier to notice stress in others than ourselves. Furthermore, an alarming 74% of people within the UK say that stress has made them feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Our people are at the heart of what we do; we encourage individuals to become Mental Health advocates who we provide with key training to support others within the company, who may be struggling to cope. These people are known business wide as Mental Health First Aiders, and by having this fantastic network we help to start important conversations.

One of our Mental Health First Aiders, Bethany Crook, said,

“We have the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) available which is free and confidential advice that is accessible 24/7.

“We also have the ‘Mates in Mind’ service which is a leading UK charity raising awareness and addressing the stigma of poor mental health.”

We always urge our colleagues to look out for signs in each other that may indicate poor mental health. Some of us work with the same people every day, by taking time to start a conversation may highlight any alarming changes in behaviour.

Colleagues can display poor mental health through being quieter or more withdrawn than usual, yet they can also display poor mental health through being loud and overconfident.

Another Mental Health First Aider, Andy Lax, added,

“A problem shared is a problem halved.

“Some people may find it uncomfortable to speak to a manager or a colleague at work, so to have some of these independent helplines it is extremely useful.”

To hear more about this important topic, and some of the techniques our colleagues use to de-stress, make sure to watch our OCU TV episode below: