Steps for Stress

In 2012 the new mental health strategy for Scotland was published.*Commitment 16 states that - NHS Health Scotland will work with the NHS, Local Authority and the voluntary sector to ensure staff are confident to use Steps for Stress as an early intervention approach to address common mental health problems (CMHP). ​

What is Steps for Stress?

Steps for Stress, established in 2010, is a suite of public-facing evidence based resources that aim to increase understanding of common mental health problems. It provides practical ways to deal with stress and tips to help it stop building in the future.

These resources are funded by the Scottish Government.  For more information on the political context behind Steps for Stress, visit Scottish Mental Health Strategy.


What Steps for Stress resources are available?

The following Steps for Stress resources are available for use locally:

  • This booklet contains some practical ways for you to start dealing with stress right now, and to stop building up in the future.


  • These two simple exercises can ease some of the immediate effects of stress - tense muscles, irregular breathing and poor concentration.


  • Steps to deal with stress Z-card
  • Provides useful information on how to recognise stress, look after yourself, problem solve and where to go for further help.  You can order your Z-cards by emailing
  • This booklet is an easy read and accessible version of the main information booklet, which includes pictorial formats and larger font size.


  • Steps to deal with stress website
  • Visit the Steps for Stress website for online information and interactive tools such as the Stress Quiz, top tips and quick relaxation videos.



How could Steps for Stress be used?

The Steps for Stress resources have been used in a number of ways to help clients relax and deal with stress.  The two main ways of use for these resources are:

  1. A building confidence / conversational tool – to help staff to talk through various steps to deal with stress
  2. Self-management tool for individuals to manage stress themselves

The range of settings the Steps for Stress resources have been used can be demonstrated through a number of Case Studies.


For more information or further enquiries:

Email the mental health improvement team in NHS Health Scotland