Simple steps to help stressed Scots tackle tension
Scots are being encouraged to take simple steps to tackle their
everyday stress to help avoid developing more serious problems, as
part of a Scottish Government campaign launched today.
Steps for Stress aims to help people recognise the signs of
everyday stress, and offers advice and information on how to take
action to help stop it in its tracks - such as being more active,
talking to someone or helping other people.
Three quarters of people surveyed in government campaign
research admit to experiencing stress, but only one in four feels
happy to talk about it.
Public Health Minister Shona Robison launched Steps for Stress
this morning by taking part in a meditation walk at the Cambuslang
and Rutherglen Community Health Initiative (CHI).
Ms Robison said:
"Stress can affect everyone. We all have busy lives today,
juggling work and family commitments, but by knowing how to spot
the signs we can help ourselves feel better.
"If the causes and symptoms of stress are allowed to snowball,
they can risk leading to other problems like unhealthy eating,
drinking too much or heavy smoking.
"Steps for Stress shows us that even small steps like going for
a walk - perhaps through an organisation like CHI - talking to a
friend or doing something for someone else can make a big
difference to how we feel."
One of the highlights of the campaign will be a six-part
prime-time STV series, Make Me Happier, sponsored by the Scottish
Government and presented by Lorraine Kelly and Angus Purden,
presenter of the People's Postcode Lottery.
Ms Robison added:
"Using a TV series is an exciting new way to help spread the
message, and together with the rest of the Steps for Stress
campaign we hope it will make a real difference to people's
Fifty-four year old Christine Muirhead has benefited from the
stress management techniques promoted at CHI. A stressful work
life, unemployment and several family bereavements left the
mum-of-two stressed, anxious and feeling like there was no point
getting out of bed in the morning.
"My self esteem and confidence were really low and I basically
lost interest in life. But I've learned that simple things like
taking time to relax do make a difference. I also realised that I
can't sort everything out at once and that setting myself small
goals is better than rushing in.
"I now volunteer with a local fruit and veg barra, which offers
local mums-to-be cheap fruit and veg so they can keep healthy
during their pregnancy and after they've had their babies. I feel
like I'm helping people and that makes me feel good about
RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said:
"Stress is a very relevant issue right now. The combination of
economic recession, winter, and the upcoming Christmas season will
place pressure on many individuals and families over the next few
"Nurses and other health professionals - particularly those
working in community and primary care - have a crucial role to play
in raising awareness of the effects of stress, and in supporting
people to identify and respond to their own signs of stress before
more serious health issues result."
Peter Rice from the Royal College of Psychiatrists said:
"The Royal College of Psychiatrists is delighted to support the
Steps for Stress campaign. Everyone needs to think about how to
achieve and keep good mental health. Taking time to understand the
demands we face, identifying and coping with problems better, using
support from those close to us and using outside help when we need
it are important steps in maintaining our ability to live life to
Dr Ken Lawton, Chair of the Royal College of General
Practitioners Scotland, said:
"Stress can affect all people, from all walks of life and it can
have a very negative impact, affecting our physical and mental
"This can result in unhealthy behaviours such as drinking too
much alcohol, smoking, inactivity and poor diet. This new campaign
will offer individuals an opportunity to feel better and more
confident about tackling issues or problems they may have. It will
also help them to develop new skills to prevent stress in the
Dr Sally Winning, Deputy Chairman of the BMA in Scotland,
"Stress can open the door to a whole host of physical and mental
problems that can affect individuals in the short and long term so
it is important that people know how to recognise when they are
stressed and to learn how to cope with stress in a healthy way.
"BMA Scotland therefore welcomes and supports the 'Steps for
Stress' campaign which offers practical ideas that people can
easily incorporate into their day to day lives."
Further information can be found on the Steps for Stress