Tracey supports National Stress Awareness Day

Stress is one of the most common conditions experienced by people in the UK.

To mark National Stress Awareness Day on Wednesday 5 November, NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to consider their life balance and how the ‘six ways to wellbeing’ can help them. These can be found on Kent’s Live It Well website ( and include:

Connect…With the people around you.
Be active…Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance.
Give…Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group.
Keep learning…Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work.
Take notice… Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are on a train, eating lunch or talking to friends.
Care…look after your community and the world.

The theme of this year’s National Stress Awareness Day is ‘Stress: the balancing act’. It is sometimes difficult to balance work, play and lifestyle and the awareness day aims to help people understand how to achieve this.

Dr David Chesover, lead GP for mental health for NHS West Kent CCG, said: “Stress can be triggered by a wide variety of life events such as divorce, bereavement or moving house; or by more everyday things such as work, friendship difficulties or money troubles. While some people may be able to cope with these or other triggers, others find it more difficult and so feel higher levels of anxiety which then affect health and normal coping behaviours.

“Stress and anxiety can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works.”

Common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. It can also make you feel anxious, irritable or result in low self esteem. Thoughts may race in your head and you may find you lose your temper more easily. Headaches, muscle tension or pain and dizziness can also be common symptoms.

Dr Chesover said: “If you feel stressed there are steps you can take to help yourself. The Six Ways to Wellbeing are a good start. But if you find you are still stressed, see your GP, or self refer for talking therapies such as counselling.”

Stress itself is not a medical diagnosis, but severe stress that continues for a long time may lead to a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or more severe mental health problems.

Dr David Chesover said “Being aware that you suffer from stress related symptoms is the first step to dealing with it. Many people are affected by the effects of stress in today’s society; it’s not a sign of weakness, but the body and mind’s response to triggers such as too much work or not enough work and many events in life. Some stress is healthy, and a normal reaction but when you feel the effect of stress is becoming overwhelming it is important to seek help and talk to someone.”


Tracey said “Stress is something that can so often dictate how we feel in our lives and can have hugely damaging effects on our wellbeing. The live it well website provides a great resource and I am delighted to support the work of the CCG in combating mental health.”


Tips on dealing with stress and support available is available on the Live It Well website  or you can also phone the 24 hour Mental Health Matters Helpline on 0800 107 0160 or visit your GP.

People with depression or anxiety may benefit from talking therapies. You can speak to your GP about this or refer yourself – details of how to do this are on the Live It Well website.

NHS West Kent CCG is focusing on improving mental health services as one of its priorities for 2014/15.