stress could lead to a suppression of the immune system. If
it was chronic or severe, it could lead on to a range of medical,
psychological or behavioural disorders.
Early warning signs included insomnia, fatigue, muscle tension,
heart palpitations, stomach upsets, breathlessness without
exertion and headaches.
warning signs included inability to concentrate, sense of
humour failure, high levels of anxiety, constant irritability
or withdrawal from social contact.
charity quoted research on work-related stress by the Health
and Safety Executive suggesting that 20% of employees suffered
from stress levels described as "very" or "extremely" stressful.
most common stress-related complaints presented to GPs were
depression and anxiety. Their reports indicated that these
conditions might affect 20% of the UK working population.
a recent CBI survey of more than 800 companies, 81% said mental
health of employees should be a company priority, but fewer
than one in 10 had an official policy on mental health. The
peculiarity of this mismatch was highlighted by another CBI
estimate that 30 times as many working days were lost due
to mental ill health as from industrial disputes. The TUC
reported that 58% of workers complained of being stressed
because of their job.
Brook, chief executive of Mind, called for more openness about
stress and mental health problems in the workplace. "Today's
competitive and pressured work environments can make it difficult
for people to disclose mental health or work stress problems
without the fear of affecting their career prospects," he
said. The government should take a lead in tackling the stigma
that is commonly attached to mental ill health.
charity called for changes in working practice to give employees
genuine control over their work and an appropriate degree
of self-management of workload. It said roles should be clearly
demarcated, with defined responsibilities and expectations.
should be actively discouraged from working excessively long
hours and there should be support for people with mental health
charity published the report at the start of Mind week, with
a range of activities to draw attention to mental health issues,
including stress-busting exercise sessions at a national chain
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