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It’s National Stress Awareness Week, and nearly one million people in the UK have reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive
Now a University of Plymouth PhD student is looking for people to test whether a bespoke resilience technique can help people to combat the effects.   
Despina Djama is exploring whether Functional Imagery Training (FIT) can improve employees’ resilience to stressful situations.
FIT is a psychological technique that uses mental imagery to help people achieve their goals. Created and developed at the University of Plymouth, it has already been proven to help people lose weight, as well as improving soldiers’ resilience during commando training
While employers can do a lot to reduce stress in the workplace, there are certain stressors – such as changing priorities and unforeseen staff absence – that are difficult to avoid, and the study is hoping to equip people with the tools they need to deal with such obstacles. 

Employers can ensure good communication, set clear expectations, provide appropriate training, and foster a sense of shared goals and achievements, which can all help to alleviate stress in the first place. But some stressors are unavoidable – accidents happen, colleagues get sick, customers’ demands change and so on.

That’s where FIT comes in. FIT trains people in the psychological skills to feel more confident and motivated to get what they want out of tough situations, and we’ve built on the existing principles to apply it to workplace situations. 

Feeling resilient doesn’t mean that you won’t experience stress or that you become immune to adversity, but it does mean that you can use these skills to feel empowered to take control and get what you want out of challenging situations.

If you would like to take part, it would be brilliant to hear from you – we’re looking for participants from across all workplaces and sectors. FIT will run in a group setting where you can get the most out of shared experiences and, at the same time, develop your own bespoke plan for feeling more resilient.

Despina DjamaDespina Djama
Teaching and Research Associate (TARA)

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Faculty of Health

Exceptional clinical and academic learning, social engagement and research in medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology and health professions.