Managing Personal Stress in Health and Social Care





What is work-related stress, and why do we need to tackle it?

There is a difference between stress and pressure. We all experience pressure on a daily basis, and need it to motivate us and enable us to perform at our best. It’s when we experience too much pressure without the opportunity to recover that we start to experience stress. The HSE definition of stress is ‘the adverse reaction a person has to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them’.

We can all feel stressed at times when we feel as though everything becomes too much, when things get on top of us, or when we feel as though we are unable to cope. It affects us in different ways at different times and is often the result of a combination of factors in our personal and working lives.
Work-related stress can be tackled by working with your employer to identify issues at source and agreeing realistic and workable ways to tackle these.

To help do this, HSE has produced Management Standards and guidelines on work-related stress for employers and employees and their representatives (available at This leaflet, produced by HSE and the International Stress Management AssociationUK, and backed by Acas, CIPD and the TUC, explains what these are, and what you can do to help your employer to help you. You can also find more information by visiting the websites listed in ‘Find out more’.

‘Stress is often a symptom of poor employment relations and can seriously affect productivity. Organisations who talk regularly with their employees and have sound systems and procedures in place for dealing with issues like absence and discipline are much more likely to avoid work-related stress and to be able to deal with potentially stressful situations when they arise.’ Acas

What do the Management Standards mean to me?

As a result of HSE’s Management Standards:

  • Your manager will have access to advice to help improve their understanding of stress and take it seriously.
  • If you are experiencing work-related stress, you should be listened to and help should be available from your manager, trade union or employee representative.
  • In the past, the causes of stress were well known but little if anything was done to fix them. The Standards mean managers will now have to work with you to find solutions, so your problems should reduce over time.
  • The processes involved with the Standards mean that employees and their representatives will be given an opportunity to give their views and to help create action plans to help reduce stress at work.

What do learners receive?

  • Course notes
  • Certificate

 What does the course include?

  • Legislation associated with lone working
  • Risk assessment for lone working
  • The precautions that can be put into place
  • Supervision for a lone worker
  • Methods of communication
  • How to report an incident