Day six of Blog Every Day in November (#BEDN) and the topic today is National Stress Awareness Day.
Stress is one of the most common conditions experienced by people in the UK today. It is known to contribute to the more serious physical illnesses, as well as being a cause for obesity. People going to work whilst suffering stress contribute to poor performance of businesses and services, and can be a contributor to poor care, errors, and disasters caused by lack of concentration. The financial cost to the UK has been estimated at £60 billion or about £1000 per man, woman and child (source: ISMA Press Release).
A recent article by the Telegraph has revealed that almost half of Britons consider themselves stressed. The study of more than 10,000 people undertaken by health insurers BUPA found that in total 44 per cent said they were currently suffering from stress. Of this group, 28 per cent said they had been feeling this way for more than a year, while 27 per cent said they regularly feel "close to breaking point".
A separate poll of 2,000 people by Kalms herbal stress remedies found that one in 10 found changing jobs more stressful than getting married or having a baby. Overall, the survey found that moving house was rated as the activity most likely to induce anxiety.
It is perhaps a little ironic that those working in the NHS and health sector regularly talk to people who are feeling stressed and unable to cope when many of the healthcare professionals themselves have recently gone through a hugely stressful period in their own working career due to the transition and shake up of the National Health Service. In my day job we work regularly with the health sector and the landscape and workforce is now unrecognisable even to a year ago, with many talented health professionals facing redundancy or changes in their job role and still facing a lot of uncertainty.
In other ways though this is a liberating time for the NHS. It is fantastic to see so many health professionals and healthcare organisations using social media so effectively and more and more are embracing social media channels, particularly Twitter and blogging. As well as a way to voice opinions (several health profiles I follow on Twitter are anonymous accounts, keeping their true identity hidden) it is also a great way to easily share best practice, learning and research.
Health is everyone's business so what better way to engage with the public than via social media? It offers a valuable opportunity to be able to listen to patients directly. Traditionally men in particular do not go to the Doctors often enough, preferring to 'forget' about their ailment and hope it goes away. The first place many of us turn to nowadays is the internet so perhaps through social media and blogs advice will be a lot more accessible for difficult target groups such as these. Hopefully this will have a positive effect in encouraging them that early diagnoses is best and to go to see their Doctor who can signpost them for treatment or perhaps give them peace of mind.
The National UK Blog Awards has a specific Health and Healthcare category open to individuals and organisations. We are delighted to have the Patient Experience Network (PEN) on board as sponsor of the Health Category. We also have a fantastic line up of judges including:
Ruth Evans | Managing Director | Patient Experience Network
Professor John Ashton CBE | President| UK Faculty of Public Health
Jonathan Ives | Editor | The Leisure Review
This is one of 15 categories. It is FREE to enter your blog. The deadline for entries is 1st December 2013. We will look forward to your entry!
Do you feel that you cope with stress effectively? What do you do to reduce your stress levels? We would welcome your comments below.