Pandemic burns out 90% of Scotland’s frontline retail workers

Fiona Benton

Nine in 10 frontline retail workers in Scotland have reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began, new research has revealed.

The figures from Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) also found that younger people, aged between 25-34-years-old, have been the hardest hit.

Increased feelings of stress and anxiety are also commonplace, with 86% of those surveyed noting a rise, the research found. Those surveyed said the main barriers stopping them from accessing support include “feeling like the problems they have are not big enough” (51%), “waiting times” (45%) and “feeling too busy” (27%).

Now, burnt out workers across Scotland will be able to access Time for You – a new, free service which offers immediate access to three different levels of mental health support, ranging from self-help resources, to access to talking therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy with trainee psychologists from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Fiona Benton (pictured), Assistant Director of Delivery and Development at SAMH, said: “Frontline workers have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and it’s extremely worrying to discover so many are struggling. While carrying out some of the most important jobs to keep our local communities going, many have experienced high levels of anxiety and stress, not to mention the worry for the safety of themselves, their loved ones, and the people they help within their roles.

“Add to that the pressure many frontline workers were experiencing even before lockdown, and it became clear to us that it has never been more important that frontline workers get the mental health support they need and deserve.

“We know from the research that frontline workers feel they would benefit from help such as talking therapies like cognitive behaviour therapy and access to self-help resources, so we hope that Time for You will be a valuable resource for many people. We urge anyone who is struggling to reach out and take the first step – it’s ok to not be ok.”

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