Following what has been an incredibly stressful year, it is no huge surprise that a growing number of studies are starting to show the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on the nation’s mental health and wellbeing. Some groups of people have been more affected than others – particularly during the first lockdown – including young adults and women, older people who went into shielding, adults with pre-existing mental health or long-term physical health problems and those on a low income or who faced financial difficulties (Public Health England, COVID-19: mental health and wellbeing surveillance report).
At the FHT, we appreciate that we’re not quite out of the woods yet and that the majority of our members won’t be able to return to work until part way through (or even after) Stress Awareness Month, depending on the nation where they live and work, but we hope that some of the articles and resources we share during April on our blog will help you and your clients to tackle some of life’s stressors, both now and in the future.
For example, did you know that around 10% of the population has needle anxiety and even those who have tattoos and body piercings can feel anxious about having a vaccination, as it’s the context they find stressful rather than the procedure itself? (Nor did we!) That’s why we’re delighted to get the ball rolling this Stress Awareness Month with a short video and accompanying article by Peter Mackereth, who provides three rapid ‘toolbox’ interventions to help take the stress out of receiving a vaccination.
For those of you who don’t know Peter, he is an honourable lecturer and researcher at The Christie Hospital, Manchester, where he was formerly the complementary therapy lead; a volunteer complementary therapist as his local hospice; an international speaker and author of numerous papers and books; and a registered nurse, currently helping to support the vaccination programme at centre in Manchester, where they provide an average of 3,000 vaccines a day!