RESIDENTS are being encouraged to take action to tackle stress and reduce the chance of further mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

The three local Clinical Commissioning Groups are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week from May 14-20, which is this year focussing on stress, with the specific question of ‘are we coping?’.

The week is organised by the Mental Health Foundation and hopes to open up conversations about stress and encourage people to look at ways they can reduce stress in their lives.

Dr Carl Ellson, strategic clinical lead for the CCGs at Redditch and Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest, and South Worcestershire, said: “Stress is an issue that can affect anyone at any time and in our very hectic lives it seems to be a growing problem.

“Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by preparing your body for emergency action.

“There’s little anyone can do to avoid stress but there are many things that can be done to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise, improving time management skills and reducing drinking and smoking.”

Research has shown that two thirds of people experience a mental health problem in their lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.

Tips to reduce stress include realising when stress is causing you a problem, identifying the causes and reviewing your lifestyle. Other issues that can cause stress, these could be relationships, work or money issues.

To see how you can get involved and support the campaign. visit