Expert Tasks Employers On Workers’ Mental Wellbeing

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A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Oluwayemi Ogun, has urged employers of labour to put in place policies that promote mental health and support any employee suffering from mental disorder.
Ogun, who is the Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, made the call at a lecture organised by the hospital to commemorate the World Mental Health Day in Lagos.
Theme of the 2017 World Mental Health Day is entitled: “Mental Health in the Workplace.”
The lecture was also part of the activities marking the hospital’s 110th anniversary celebration.
“There is no doubt that work is good for mental health.
“The emphasis, however, is that the working environment is crucial to the mental status of the employees and has direct impact on the organisational performance and productivity.
“On the other hand, a negative working environment may lead to physical and mental health problems; this is counter-productive to the organisation.
“It is imperative for organisations to put in place arrangements that seek to promote the mental health of their workers and support them,” Ogun said.
She said that choice of the theme was timely as the global economic meltdown and uncertain political climates had led to non-performance of most organisations.
According to her, the resultant effect is poor organisational policy framework to protect the rights and privileges of employees.
“This has led to employees’ exploitation, bullying and poor welfare packages for the workers.
“The employees are made to bear the brunt of the economic reality and political uncertainties.
“It is, therefore, a common place to find cases of mental challenges on the increase in the workplace,” she said.
Ogun, while flagging off the hospital’s 110th year anniversary, said that in the past, it was a taboo for anyone to freely enter the hospital without being considered a patient and stigmatised.
“Today, the story has since changed; the hospital has played host to countless numbers of people from all works of life,” Ogun said.
Another Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Olufemi Olugbile, said that there was little recognition and negative prevalent attitude of mental illness among employers and employees themselves.