April is Stress Awareness Month – Let’s Be Aware!

As part of Stress Awareness Month during April, the NHS in Leeds is asking people of all ages to be more aware of the signs of stress in themselves, friends, colleagues and family. As the impact of the Coronavirus continues to take its toll, mental health awareness amongst family, friends and colleagues is needed now more than ever.

Dr Gwyn Elias, GP and Clinical Lead for Mental Health for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group said “We know that the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of lockdown are impacting a lot of people. Many will be feeling worried, anxious or overwhelmed right now.

“It’s really important that we’re all aware of how we’re feeling and as well as family, friends and colleagues. Recognising the ‘red flags’ of stress can help us spot when someone may need support.”

Symptoms of stress include:

  • headaches or dizziness
  • muscle tension or pain
  • stomach problems
  • chest pain or a faster heartbeat
  • sexual problems
  • difficulty concentrating
  • struggling to make decisions
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • constantly worrying
  • being forgetful

“We all experience stress at different times and in different ways, but being under prolonged or intense pressure can affect our mental health. I’d urge anyone who is struggling to talk about how they’re feeling and to reach out for support if they need it.

“There’s lots of help available, including self-help resources, apps, online courses as well as support lines and specialist help. You’ll find details on the MindWell website –www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk. There’s also a free helpline for anyone struggling with their mental health. The number is 0800 183 0558 and it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

For more information on stress symptoms and management please go to NHS website: www.nhs.uk/mentalhealth or visit www.stress.org.uk

Additional resources

  • The NHS Every Mind Matters website also includes a wide range of resources to help with anxiety, low mood and stress.
  • Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service is for anyone aged 17+ registered with a Leeds GP and provides support and psychological therapies for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The service also provides online therapy courses and self-management tools which are available at any time day and night to help with a wide range of issues including stress and anxiety, mindfulness, depression and bereavement. Help is available immediately through online courses at https://leeds.omnitherapy.org/
  • If you prefer talking therapies, you can also refer yourself through the website: leedsmentalwellbeingservice.co.uk
  • Children and young people can visit the MindMate website for information and support about their emotional health and wellbeing: mindmate.org.uk
  • Further advice and resources can also be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/

Support for people in crisis is also available:

  • Connect – a survivor-led local helpline which offers emotional support and information to people in Leeds every night from 6pm-2am on 0808 800 1212. Connect also provides online support through instant chat for people – lslcs.org.uk Connect specialises in working with people at risk of suicide and self-harm and those with complex mental health needs.
  • Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (LYPFT) Single Point of Access (SPA) – if you, or someone you’re worried about, needs urgent care or treatment for a mental health crisis call the SPA on 0300 300 1485 (open 24/7, every day).
  • Anyone whose life is in immediate danger should call 999.


For media enquiries please contact leedsccg.comms@nhs.net.