National Stress Awareness Day – November 2nd 2023


Why prioritise Stress Awareness Day on November 2nd 2023?

Stress is something that can affect anyone, at any time, and via many causes. It is something that can build slowly or come on fast due to extenuating circumstances. By prioritising and highlighting stress awareness day in the workplace, it can give employees the chance to stop, reflect, and discuss causes, promote wellbeing methods, and most importantly, raise awareness of symptoms to be aware of.

The NHS website offers a clear description, symptoms, and potential coping mechanisms and these can be wide-ranging, so by highlighting these via important focus events such as Stress Awareness Day, it can help the individual recognise elements of stress within themselves or their colleagues in the workplace.


Stress Awareness Day is organised by International Stress Management Association, ISMAUK,

and this year, the event will be held on the 1st of November. Their focus ‘is to raise awareness of stress around the world and improve the ways in which stress is managed in the workplace and in our personal lives.’

As an employer, promoting Stress Awareness Day highlights to their employees that they take their mental health and wellbeing seriously, and consider their personal needs, not just their productiveness in the workplace.

What is the ‘Start First’ Initiative?’

An initiative, according to Indeed.com, ‘is a comprehensive plan for reaching strategic and long-term goals… Initiatives are transformative and typically lead to positive change in an organization.’

This notion of positive change works nicely with raising awareness of stress and offering support, normalising it, and providing beneficial techniques that can be applied in the workplace.

‘Start First’ initiative is an example of what an employer could bring into effect on Stress Awareness Day. With the emphasis on the first, it has dual meaning – as Stress Awareness Day falls on the 1st of November this year, and also highlighting how employers prioritise their employee’s mental health.

By personalising a campaign, an employer can adapt it to its employees or their environment and show their focus on employee wellbeing.

Why introduce a campaign into the workplace?

According to Rethink Mental Health website, a ‘small amount of stress can be useful. It can motivate you to take action and get tasks completed.’ What a stress awareness campaign can do is highlight or offer mechanisms into the workplace to ensure stress remains manageable and not problematic.  It also offers an opportunity to raise questions or concerns, but doing so in an appropriate way, by ‘Being non-judgemental, kind and empathetic is key.’ (Mental Health-uk.org.) There are many approaches and ways to introduce the subject of stress awareness into the workplace and the charity, Mental-Health-UK offers examples of how to open the lines of communication.

What sort of initiatives could companies bring in?

Along with a focus on Stress Awareness Day, employers can bring in tailored approaches to help their employees. Whilst This could be via workshops, exercise classes, first-aid training, and awareness courses that are offered by specialist companies such as Joyful-Living, who can tailor the courses to the needs of the company. These can be either online or onsite and can even be done at the employee’s desk via massage or by group corporate events. Examples of initiatives could be –

Stress Management Programs                Wellbeing workshops   

Mindfulness Workshops                              Meditation 

Yoga and fitness classes                       Employee Wellbeing rogrammes

See website for more details –


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