Research indicates that two thirds of us will experience a mental health issue in our lifetime. In 2018, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place week commencing 14th May and will focuse on stress.


Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year and stress is a key factor in this.

Mental Health Foundation, 2018

In recognition of mental health awareness week we will be holding a picnic in the park event which will be open to our service users and team members.

But what is stress?

Being under a lot of mental or emotional pressure can led us to feeling stressed. These pressures can come from our everyday lives such as financial worries, family worries, arguments or even the journeys into work. Stress can affect people in different ways both emotionally and physically.

Signs of stress

Common signs and symptoms include

  • Irritability
  • Constant worry or anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Change in eating habits (more or less)
  • Change in sleep pattern
  • Mood swings
  • Increased temper
  • Loss of sex drive

Stress is a natural reaction to some situations however stress that lasts over a period of time can cause both emotional and physical issues.

What next?

Once you have identified you are feeling stressed and that it is having an impact on you there are some things you an do such as identifying the cause of your stress and making small lifestyle changes to reduce the stress. However we understand that this is not always as simple as it seems especially if you are feeling stressed, but don't panic there is support available.


They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Speaking to someone about how you feel can help reduce feelings of stress and can help support you to find manageable solutions to your stress. You may find it helps to speak to a supportive friend or family member or even your local GP.

However there are other ways to tackle your stress for example through courses in the community. 

Valley steps provide free Stress Control and Mindfulness courses across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil. Such as mindfulness and stress control