Stress Awareness Month
How is your stress awareness? Since 1992, April has been Stress Awareness Month. Stress can be a significant factor with the manifestation of depression, something The Care Workers Charity has indicated as an issue in the sector.
MIND released a report in 2016, revealing nine in ten (88%) primary care workers find their work life stressful, which was significantly higher than the wider UK workforce (56%). The psychological impact on care workers is significant, with 43% saying workplace stress has led them to resigning or considering resigning from their jobs. This links in to the industry problems with staff retention and shows how important limiting stress levels of staff can be to individual companies.
Causing Stress on the Sector
Raising Awareness of workplace stress is vital in all sectors, not only Care. However, in care, stresses are often exacerbated by the inherently stressful nature of supporting people in difficult circumstances. Often, heavy workloads exacerbate stress, and the lack of funding has often left people in the sector taking on more and more work. This is not only the case with Care Workers, but also social workers and occupational therapists.
Harold Bodmer, the late and sadly missed vice president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said: “Social Work can, at times, be severely stressful, as individual workers engage with some of the most vulnerable people in our society at some of the most raw and sensitive moments in their lives”.
And Julia Skelton, director of professional operations at the British Association and College of Occupational Therapists said: “work-related stress has a profound impact on our members’ health and wellbeing. Occupational therapists deal with 40% of referrals in social care, and the impact of sourcing equipment from a small budget and finding additional monies to support disables facilities grant progressing can be demoralising”.
Shrinking budgets and a higher-than-ever volume of work may mean a significant rise in stress, which contributes to the overarching issue of retention facing the sector. These reasons are why we need to take stress awareness month extremely seriously, as the wellbeing of people in very demanding, emotionally draining care roles is at stake.
If you run a care company you will understand the importance of stress awareness and having a robust Stress Management Policy in place to protect your staff, and yourself. Keeping staff stress under control means they will be happier and staff retention will be improved – it’s a win/win. Here at Insequa we provide a range of over 115 social care policies for England and Scotland, specifically for the care sector – this range includes a comprehensive Stress Management policy. If you would like to learn more about our game-changing policies, call us on 0115 896 3999.