April Is Stress Awareness Month

April has been designated Stress Awareness Month. During this thirty day period, health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country will join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.

Sponsored by The Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.

"Even though we've learned a lot about stress in the past twenty years,"says Dr. Morton C. Orman, M.D., Founder and Director of HRN, "we've got a long way to go. New information is now available that could help millions of Americans eliminate their suffering."

Stress - 1

Stress Facts

  •  75% of the general population experiences at least "some stress" every two weeks (National Health Interview Survey).
  • Half of those experience moderate or high levels of stress during the same two-week period.

  • Millions of Americans suffer from unhealthy levels of stress at work. (A study several years ago estimated the number to be 11 million--given events since that time, this number has certainly more than tripled--studies in Sweden, Canada, and other Westernized countries show similar trends.)

  • Worker's compensation claims for "mental stress" in California rose 200-700% in the 1980s (whereas all other causes remained stable or declined!)

  • Stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses in many individuals.

  • Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases.

  • Tranquilizers, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications account for one fourth of all prescriptions written in the U.S. each year.

  • Stress also contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction, and other harmful behaviors.

  • The U.S. Public Health Service has made reducing stress by the year 2000 one of its major health promotion goals.

Stress -2

Sources: 

1) Healthy People 2000, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

2) "Prevention of Work-Related Psychological Disorders": A National Strategy Proposed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), American Psychologist, Vol. 45, No. 10, October 1990.

3) CBS Television News (700% increase in worker's compensation claims in California during the 1980s).

Prepared and distributed by The Health Resource Network, Inc., a non-profit health education organization

Stress - 3