South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to people across Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield is encouraging people to support Samaritans Stress Down Day and seek help for stress if they need it.
Stress Down Day takes place on Friday 6th February 2009 and it’s a day when Samaritans try to raise awareness and money for their service. Samaritans is contacted every six seconds by people in need of emotional support, but to maintain their 24-hour helpline they need to raise more than £10m a year. Stress Down Day aims to raise awareness of the effects of stress in the workplace and encourages people to take better care of their emotional well-being. Find out more at www.stressdownday.org.
Stress is the result of too much or prolonged pressure being placed on an individual and can be unhealthy for the body and mind. In the UK, anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems, and the majority of cases are caused by stress. 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem.
As a way of coping with and managing stress before the situation worsens, South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust is advising people to talk about how they are feeling with whoever they are comfortable with – friends, family, colleagues or professionals. It is also encouraging everyone to be open to those around them who may be feeling stressed and in need of support.
Other coping strategies include eating regularly, tackling one task at a time, taking regular breaks at work, exercising and giving yourself plenty of time to relax.
The Trust’s Medical Director Dr Nisreen Booya said, "Everyone reacts differently to stress, and some people may have a higher threshold than others. When a person is under more pressure than they can cope with, the stress they feel can escalate into a more serious problem. Mental health is just like physical health and we shouldn’t ignore how we’re feeling, just like we wouldn’t ignore a niggling headache or stomach ache. Over a third of GP consultations are about mental health so if you’re struggling to cope, don’t be afraid to book yourself an appointment."
She continued "The Samaritans are a fantastic source of help for many people experiencing distress or who just want to talk to someone and we are pleased to be backing their awareness day."