As part of our Healthy Workplace programme here at Merton Chamber, we have complied a vast range of information and guidance for businesses and organisations wanting to improve their in-work health and wellbeing credentials which can be found here

We actively encourage our members to let us know how they are tackling certain issues at work that affect the mental and physical health of their workers or issues across the board that they feel strongly about.  Below Stem4 has sent us through a great statement by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, CEO and Founder of stem4 and the clinician behind the stem4 self-harm app, highlighting the importance of exploring the affects of stress in schools:

Stress Awareness Month 1st April 2016

We all know that a certain degree of stress is important to enable us to give our best performance and that some people deal better with stress than others. However, too much stress will act as a trigger to developing a range of anxiety based conditions, increase self-harm behaviours and bring about low mood as well as impact negatively on our physical health. Stem4 the teenage mental health charity supports teenage mental health and well-being through our workshops in schools, popular topics being stress management, as well as our workshop titled ‘When stress hurts’ about managing self-harm. It is well documented that student stress across the world is rising with exam worries, grades, friendship concerns including bullying, family breakdown and pressures caused by social media being cited as common causes. In 2014, the NSPCC reported a 200% in requests for counseling help, many over exam stress.

However, from the feedback from our teacher training workshops, as well as figures released last year (Nasuwt, 2015) there is concern about the rising levels of stress in teachers. The BBC published the results of a survey of 3,500 members of the Nasuwt teaching union (BBC, 2015) which showed that more than 2/3rds of their respondents had thought of quitting the profession in the past year.  83% of the respondents reported work stress of which 67% said their mental or physical health had been adversely affected.

With student and teacher stress soaring, and with adult mental ill health affecting 1 in 4, a number of whom will be parents; surely we need to explore the effects of our performance related culture on mental health and well-being and have systems in place in schools to help limit stress on teachers, whether it is a newly qualified teacher level or school leaders?

 

About stem4

NOTE TO EDITORS: The work of stem4 includes workshops to schools and a helpful website. WWW.stem4.org.uk focuses on four areas of teenage mental health, introducing lots of practical advice and tips on how teenagers can identify the conditions early together with techniques to combat these debilitating conditions, including the ‘four steps to change’. There is also advice and a comprehensive list of resources for the friends of troubled teens, their families and carers and for schools.

To find out how you can get involved in Merton Chamber’s Healthy Workplace Programme visit www.mertonchamber.co.uk/healthy-merton

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