Employee must do more to reduce mental illness

JI WorkplaceLeadership

Employers and organizations have been called upon to create conducive environments for work so as to identify early warning signs of stress as a first step of controlling mental illness in the work place.

“We can institute Employees Assistance Programme in our workplaces to allow easy access to persons who need help in that direction since a mentally friendly workplace is crucial for every business”, she added.

Dr Caroline Amissah Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, said this at the 2017 World Mental Health Day celebration in Takoradi in the Western Region under the theme: “Mental Health in the Work Place”.
The Day is set aside to draw attention to mental health issues, create the needed awareness and remind people that mental health problems are treatable.

In Ghana, a conservative estimate indicates about 2.8 million people had one minor or major mental disorder, out of the figure, about 650,000 suffer a severe form of mental illness according to the WHO.

The Deputy CEO said the Authority had announced a silent revolution in mental health care and called on stakeholders to support the fight.

She also called on organized labour to start defining best practices in promoting mental health in the workplace since “without a mentally sound populace all social and economic interventions and achievements will be meaningless.

Dr Owen Kaluwa, Country Representative for WHO, said the lack of information, stigma and cultural issues continue to be significant barriers that prevented people from seeking help in Africa.

He said employers could become change agents by modifying risk factors for stress in the workplace, creating an organizational climate that promotes well-being and creativity as well as facilitate care for those in need.

Dr Kaluwa said mental health was a priority on the WHO’s agenda, adding we encourage countries to promote mental health in work place, build coalitions to promote best practices, decrease negative attitudes and empower individuals to promote good mental health for all.
He said workplace wellbeing is key to ensuring a healthy, sustainable workforce which is essential for a healthier, more productive and prosperous Africa.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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