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What happens next? - After the International Stress Awareness Week

Watching our friends and loved ones who may display signs of stress is not easy any time of year. It isn’t just about that one week of awareness, stress, depression or anxiety can affect people at any time, whatever their age, young or old.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) managed by the Office for National Statistics has published figures for 2015/16 advising that the total number of cases of work- related stress, depression or anxiety was 488,000 cases, approximately 1510 for every 100,000 workers.

The number of new cases was 224,000, an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers. And that’s cases that have been reported.

The total number of working days lost due in this time period was 11.7 million days!

This equates to an average of 23.9 days lost per case.

There are industries where reported stress is higher, such as education; health and social care; and public administration and defence. Basically, Public Service industries.

And by occupation, jobs that are commonly reporting higher stress rates include healthcare workers; teaching professionals; business, media and public service professionals.

The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work related stress, depression or anxiety (LFS) were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.

That doesn’t mean stress doesn’t exist in your profession, if you are in a different position than those names above. These are the industries that are reporting the highest cases of stress, but the figures could be skewed by those not recognising the symptoms, not seeking help etc. Or they could be seeking help from alternative therapists as opposed to the traditional GP.

There are lots of ways these figures could differ….and I would suggest that they are actually significantly higher than are reported.

Of course, we don’t have instantaneous results, such is the way reporting is reported! And not only are the figures out of date once published, lack the information of alternative therapies but also this is only those in employment, not the self-employed, stay at home parents, grandparents, homeworkers, etc…..!

From the figures obtained and the historical information that has been obtained and studied, in employment the estimated rate and number has remained broadly flat over a decade. So, from this it would suggest that the estimated number of “stressed” workers who are diagnosed by their medical practitioner in the years that follow would be the same – there or thereabouts.

But is that really true!

As we become more and more aware of the symptoms of stress, more self-aware, family and friends recognising the signs and symptoms, surely more than the average will be reported. However, this also comes with a caveat – more and more of us are turning to alternative therapies to support our stressful lives. Some individuals feel this is a bit too “woo woo” however with the stress not only of ourselves but of our planet, these alternative therapies offer an eco friendly alternative. A reduction in the medication that may have travelled from the other side of the world, and a resurgence of the healing properties of plants that grow around us, using the body to heal itself from within, so much so that even our amazing NHS has recognised the benefit of these alternative healing methods in their latest recruitment of Reiki practitioners.

There are numerous alternative practitioners in different skills from homeopathy to reiki, from aromatherapy to reflexology, from meditation to energy balancing. A revival of practices from way back in the dim and dark past, there before the doctor – a different way.

So, Leanne has told you of some of her journey. A terrible trauma that led to emotional stress. How did she cope? Well yes, initially she took the pills given to her, fogging up her mind. But she had friends around her who practiced alternative therapies and who took her under their wing, guiding her onto a new path, offering her that alternative. Was she naïve to take this route?

Quite possibly.

But Leanne discovered a new way that in less than a year, she is no longer taking the medication that was prescribed to her to cope, she has found an alternative way. And in doing so has launched on to a new path that both enhances and adds uniqueness to her skill base.

She is willing to share, so if you want to know more - contact Leanne at


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