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Stress buster super woman

TRAINED: Awele Odeh

AN NHS mental health worker is helping people to overcome stress in the workplace by holding workshops after staging a play about her personal experiences.

Trained occupational therapist Awele Odeh recently held a seminar at the NAIDEX conference, the UK’s largest independent livings exhibition, at Birmingham’s NEC.

A registered psychotherapist, Odeh has worked for the NHS for 14 years and is a member of the London-based arts organisation deep:black which helps people to manage work-related stress issues.

She said: “Stress can damage our health and emotional well-being and ultimately lead to burnout. I used to go to work feeling tired and continue to think about it out of hours.

“I felt pressure to take work home - which would compromise my quality of life, but I know I wasn’t alone in my experiences.

“The recession has led to cuts in staffing levels in many organisations and a heavier workload for remaining staff.

“The purpose of the workshop is to use my own example as a tool to more deeply explore and highlight how stress can deeply impact on our quality of life at work.”

Odeh, who works with businesses in the West Midlands, is also a master neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, and set up The Work Stress Buster five years ago. It helps healthcare professionals and self-employed business people maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Katharine Yates, co-director of deep:black, added: “The audience will see a performance based on real people’s experiences of stress in the workplace and then have the opportunity to discuss what they see, and suggest what the character could do differently.

“Members of the audience will then be invited to change the outcome of the play by getting up and taking on the role of the actor on stage.

“This type of theatre means that rather than just talking about ideas for coping better with stress at work, members of the audience are getting involved in finding solutions and trying out their ideas as a way of rehearsing for real life.”

For workshop details email: Or call Awele Odeh on 0845 054 2781.

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