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