It’s International Stress Awareness Day. This event was founded in 1998 by Carole Spiers, the chairperson of International Stress Management Association (ISMA). The event usually takes place the first Wednesday in November, but this year it is being held the second Wednesday in November, November 9th, as part of ISMA’s 2022 Online Global Stress & Wellbeing Summit.
National Stress Awareness Day is intended to help increase public awareness of stress and stress management. The event encourages people to take 24 hours to consider their stressors, how they can improve stress management, and support options. In honor of this year’s ISMA theme “Working Together to Build Resilience and Reduce Stress,” we’re emphasizing the role workplaces play in the wellbeing and stress management of their employees.
The Case for Wellbeing Initiatives in the Workplace
A well-timed report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services came out late last month on October 20, 2022. The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, released a new Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace. The framework makes the case for workplace mental health initiatives and highlights five essentials for workers in organizations of all sizes and places significant emphasis on the health impacts of chronic stress and the role workplaces can and should play in combatting stress and improving overall wellbeing of Americans.
According to Dr. Vivek, “more and more workers are worried about making ends meet, dealing with chronic stress, and struggling to balance the demands of both work and personal lives.” And in making the case for the framework, the Surgeon General explains: “chronic stress […]
- […] can have negative effects on numerous organ systems in the body.
- […] disrupt[s] sleep, increases[s] muscle tension, and impair[s] metabolic function.
- […] can increase one’s vulnerability to infection, the risk for diabetes, and the risk for other chronic health condition.
- […] has also been linked to a higher risk of developing diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.
- […] can also contribute to mental and behavioral health challenges, including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and other substance misuse,
- And can have negative impacts on the mental health of the children and families of workers.”1
It’s clear how much stress can impact a person’s health and ability to work, and this impact costs workplaces as people with poor wellbeing show a decline in the quality, pace, and performance of their work.2 And the chronic conditions that stress can contribute to costs employers more than half a trillion dollars each year.3
Combatting Stress and Improving Wellbeing
Although not the sole component of worker health, work is an extremely important factor. The Surgeon General’s framework lays out five essentials that can help workplaces and organizations become “engines of well-being.” Each essential is grounded in two human needs and the framework lays out information and additional resources on how organizations can achieve them in the workplace.
- Protection from Harm—Safety & Security
- Connection & Community—Social Support & Belonging
- Work-Life Harmony—Autonomy & Flexibility
- Mattering at Work—Dignity & Meaning
- Opportunity for Growth—Learning & Accomplishment
This framework is intended to create new dialogue and change at workplaces in the United States to better address stress and improve the mental health of employees. For National Stress Awareness Day, your organization can take action to participate in this important event by picking one of the essentials within the framework and creating a new initiative to better meet it.
One of Uprise Health’s over-arching 2023 missions is to increase and promote how our EAP Plus and wellbeing solutions help organizations operationalize DEI. This is one of the four components of the framework’s first stated essentials “Protection from Harm.” In addition, we’re currently in the middle of launching a mission statement and related mission processes, which aligns with one of the components of the “Mattering at Work” essential.
If you’d like to learn more about how Uprise Health helps organizations implement health and wellbeing solutions that effectively improve stress management and reduce the stress of their employees, contact us today.
Happy Stress Awareness Day, everyone! Let’s work together to improve the lives of Americans.