April is Stress Awareness Month, and people are being urged to take time out to look after themselves and move from a state of distress to one of de-stress over the next 30 days.

Research from the Stress Management Society has found that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, citing feelings of disconnection, uncertainty and a worrying loss of control as their main causes of concern.

These factors have been woven into the theme for this year's Stress Awareness Month, with people encouraged to take a 30 Day Challenge and carry out one action each day over the next month to improve their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. There are also a range of other resources including videos, a seven-step Achievement Plan, digital detox checklist and free stress guides – for details, visit Stress Management Society.  

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "We all suffer stress from time to time, usually as a reaction to mental or emotional pressure in our work or family lives, in response to financial or health issues or when we are dealing with significant life events. 

"Sometimes stress is useful as it helps us get things done, but if you're stressed all the time it can become a problem.

“The coronavirus pandemic has only hightened stress levels for many people, but the good news is that there is plenty of help and advice out there, so please take some time out over the next few weeks to get any support you need."

If you are experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood, visit NHS for self-assessment, audio guides and other practical tools. 

The Every Mind Matters campaign provides simple tips and advice to start taking better care of your mental health. The Mental Health Foundation has a wide range of resources available at Mental Health Foundation

The City of Wolverhampton Council's #StaySafeBeKind campaign includes a range of health and wellbeing resources, including details of organisations which can support people struggling with issues including debt, isolation and domestic violence. Visit Stay Safe Be Kind

The Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's mental health helpline provides advice, support and signposting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to people of all ages. Call 0800 008 6516.

You can self-refer to Wolverhampton Healthy Minds via the website or by calling 0800 923 0222 or 01902 441856, or alternatively speak to your GP. 

If you are having a difficult time or if you are worried about someone else, The Samaritans are there to listen. Visit Samaritans, call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org for support.

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. For more information, please visit Stress Management Society.