"Dear IPG..." 

It’s been a very hectic start to the year at work and I’m feeling stressed. My work is suffering and I don’t know where to go for support. Please help!

You are not alone: stress is a hugely significant issue in many workplaces, and far too often it goes unrecognised or, worse, ignored. Acknowledging the stress and how it is affecting you are the important first steps towards addressing it. Identifying causes and triggers, and what you can and can’t change about your situation, can help you reclaim some control. Making the most of support networks is important too, and hopefully these will include people in your workplace. Around 12 million work days are lost to stress each year, which suggests two things: that employers should be alert to the scale and impact of stress in their workplaces; and that it isn’t a weakness but something that can happen to anyone.

The IPG Skills Hub has an excellent resource to help employees respond to stress and mental health issues. The ‘Dealing with Stress in the Workplace’ course has guides to the definitions, signs and causes of stress, and advice for how to respond to it, including practical management strategies. There is also advice for employers seeking to develop better strategies and responses to staff stress, and links to lots of good resources from experts, including Mind and the HSE. You can find the Skills Hub resource on stress here.