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With a recent survey from Perk box showing that 79% of UK adults experience workplace stress, Brighter Futures is joining other organisations on Wednesday 4 November in raising awareness of the issue.

Stress Awareness Day, which takes place on the first Wednesday of November every year, raises awareness of stress and ways to manage it. This year, it takes place on the 4th.

Stress itself is not classed as a mental illness, but it can lead to a range of physical and mental health issues if it becomes unmanageable. The same survey also showed that financial stress is the second most common form – with 60% experiencing it regularly – and 48% of people struggled with family-related stress.

The Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline provides a free and confidential service for people to openly about these issues in a confidential space. This caller felt empowered that somebody else cared enough to listen to her.

“I had a difficult decision to make before I phoned. It involved the possible prosecution of a family member. I was suffering terrible flashbacks and wanted to see myself as a survivor.

“I explained the stress I was under made me consider ending my life, but the hope of being a survivor stopped this happening. I did feel like I was running out of options, though.

“It was incredible that someone I’d never met understood how I felt and gave me that time just to consider myself for a minute. By the end of the call, I was reminded that I’d made a difficult step to trust somebody I didn’t know with my personal information. All I could do was try and say to myself ‘I have, haven’t I’?”

Eunice Burke, the Helpline Manager, says: “It’s normal for us all to feel stressed at times, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can be difficult to know what to do next.

“We offer a service that listens to all concerns that affect your mental health. If you do feel in a situation where you are overwhelmed, contact us for support. We also offer a Ring Out and Support Call service, where we ring the person to offer extra support during difficult times.

“We know it isn’t easy or always convenient to pick up the phone, so you can also text, email, or send us an instant message. We’re here to listen if you’re over 18 in Staffordshire.”

Brighter Futures, provider of the Helpline, has been supporting people with a history of mental health, homelessness, and other complex needs for nearly 46 years in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Their other services include the Clubhouse Network, Safe Spaces, and the Rough Sleeper Team.

People needing to contact the Helpline for free can do so by ringing 0808 800 2234, texting: 07860 022821, emailing: staffordshire.helpline@brighter-futures.org.uk, or via instant message: www.brighter-futures.org.uk. The service is available 365 days-a-year, weekdays 7pm-2am, weekends 2pm-2am.

For more information, visit www.brighter-futures.org.uk.

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