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Churches and Christian organisations urged to avoid employee burn out

by Tola Mbakwe

The head of a Christian mental health charity has warned churches and Christian organisations about the danger of allowing their employees to get burnt out.

Patrick Regan, CEO of Kintsugi Hope, said faith organisations are especially susceptible to this.

“One warning to the Church is that we're not immune to this, we tend to burn our workers out, even more sometimes because they're working for God, so we put loads of pressure on them because they're highly motivated.

“It's not sustainable, the pace that many of us live in and so it's a huge challenge to our values, particularly as Christians.”

Regan was responding to a new study commissioned by the UK government which found that 67 per cent of employees have anxiety and stress on a Sunday evening ahead of a typical working week-  which is sometimes referred to as the 'Sunday scaries'.

The top three causes have been identified as work stress, lack of sleep and a looming to-do list.

To distract themselves from the ‘Sunday Scaries’ young people (aged 18-32) are most likely to scroll on social media (58 per cent), binge watch TV (48 per cent) or comfort eat (42 per cent ); equating to an average of almost 2.5 hours of wasted time every Sunday.

To combat poor mental health relates to work, Kintsugi Hope recently started offering employers training on the problem.

“We recognise there's a huge pressure on employers, and a lot of them want to do the right thing and want to change their culture, he said.

“We've got to have healthy working cultures, so people stay in employment.  Do people feel that they've got someone they can talk to if they're struggling? Or are they just going to try and plow on, on their own? There's loads of things that employees can do to invest in wellbeing at this time.”

The World Health Organisation has published its first ever mental health guidance to employers. Meanwhile, people in England will be able to receive access to therapists at work, due to a new NHS scheme.

Listen to Patrick Regan’s interview here:

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