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Monday, 30 November 2009

Tackling stress levels within the workplace

In Britain stress, depression or anxiety account for approximately 13.8 million reported lost working days per year with 530,000 individuals believing they are experiencing workplace stress at a level that is making them ill.*

St John Ambulance is offering businesses help to identify, prevent and treat the symptoms and effects of stress in the workplace.

Clive James, advisor on first aid and stress awareness at St John Ambulance, said: ‘The wellbeing of employees should be at the heart of any workplace ethos and should never be ignored. Our course will help you understand the causes of stress, in both the workplace and the home and show how sometimes they can be linked. In uncertain times, feelings of lack of control are often the root of stress, and anxiety can be a major factor in ill health and strains on personal and professional relationships. It’s vital people learn how to identify and manage stress.’

The three-hour Stress awareness course will teach students how to identify the early signs of stress and what measures to take to avoid it and includes valuable information for employers, employees and the general public. The course also covers techniques for managing stress such as exercise, relaxation, breathing and visualisation.

Also covered on the course:

· Defining stress· Causes of stress
· Risk assessment to identify the level of stress within the workplace
· Coping with stress
· Immediate and long-term solutions

Chris Bates, 34, from Leicester, said: ‘I suffered a great deal of stress when I used to work in the finance industry and had to be signed off work for nine months. Since then, I’ve taken St John Ambulance’s Stress awareness course, which has been hugely beneficial in learning how to cope with anxiety and its effects. What’s more, it recognises that people can suffer stress in a variety of settings, whether others consider certain environments to be stressful or not.’

St John Ambulance trains half a million people a year in first aid and health and safety and has branched into stress awareness to offer support to sufferers. For information about the Stress awareness course, priced £75 plus VAT per person visit www.sja.org.uk or call 0844 770 4800. Remember - Chamber of Commerce members are entitled to a 10% discount off St John Ambulance’s scheduled courses and on-site training in the North West.


*Figures from 2006/07, Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

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