Mental Health Awareness Week – Dealing with Anxiety
Anxiety is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May 2023) and so here at Envu, we’re building on our partnership with the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Together we’re shining a light on the issue of anxiety and offering practical help for those working in the greenkeeping sector.
The nature of turf management often means that greenkeepers spend a lot of time working alone. With a proven link between lone working and vulnerability to work related stress, greenkeepers are prone to mental health problems which can manifest in a multitude of ways, from depression and anxiety to an increased risk of suicide, especially among men.
Nicola Parks, Senior Corporate Fundraising Officer from CALM explains:
“Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. And 75% of these suicides are male. Research shows that lone workers have a higher risk of suicide. That's why it’s crucial we’re working with Envu, who are committed to helping us raise awareness of these issues and highlight the support that is available if anyone is going through a tough time.”
Symptoms of anxiety
CALM describes anxiety as a feeling of nervousness that begins to take over daily life. As with all mental health conditions, recognising the early signs is key, as is an understanding that everyone’s experience is different. Individuals may experience single or multiple symptoms to varying degrees. Anxiety awareness can be the first step to getting the help needed.
Here’s what to look out for...
- Feeling panicky or on the edge, often for long periods of time.
- Difficulty sleeping because of recurrent worries or thoughts.
- Panic attacks or intense periods of fear and discomfort.
- A compulsion to carry out certain rituals to keep things from going wrong.
- Physical symptoms like sweaty palms, dry mouth, or tense muscles.
- Increased heart rate and/or shallower breathing.
- Avoid certain situations or things in everyday life because of nervousness and worries.
Anxiety at work
Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)1 for 2021/22, show that of the 1.8 million workers suffering from a work-related illness, 914,000 were stress, depression, or anxiety. Over half of working days are lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety (17 million).
In addition to charities such as CALM, help is on hand for those in the turf industry thanks to the British International Golf and Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), who have taken positive action to address the issue of mental health in the sector. Karl Hansell, head of marketing and communications at BIGGA, explains:
“In 2021 we undertook a survey that found 80% of our members had worried about the mental health of a colleague. We know there can be tremendous highs for those working in greenkeeping, but there are also lows, both professional and personal. For that reason, BIGGA invests significant time and effort into providing resources that support our members and the wider industry. Some of these are long-established, such as the free lifestyle counselling service we offer members, while others are new initiatives such as the training of a network of mental health first aiders. But sometimes, all you need is someone to talk to and that’s where the BIGGA community really proves its worth.”
Envu and CALM partnership
Envu is working with CALM to promote the conversation about mental health in the turf management sector, sharing advice to help combat the escalation of anxiety in the workplace.
Greenkeepers can access help and advice about living with worry and anxietyfrom BIGGA and also obtain support from CALM about how to combat anxiety.