The health of workers is not just about physical health, but psychological health too. Mental health risks to workers, such as occupational stress and depression, are on the increase and recognising and promoting mental health is an essential part of creating a safe and healthy workplace.
It has been reported that nearly 10% of South Africans suffer from some form of depression, which means that it is highly likely that some of your colleagues are struggling with their mental health. While there can be many contributing factors, the ones linked directly to the workplace include rising job insecurity, artificial intelligence and high job demands. But the issue is worsened by the fact that there is still a significant stigma attached to depression. In the workplace, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) revealed that just one in six employees are likely to disclose their mental health issues to their manager. Because of this, workers do not approach their employers to ask about possibly taking time off to deal with and manage their depression or anxiety.
When employees experience positive physical and mental health, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated and productive in their roles. Whether you come from a safety department, a health and wellness role or a Human Resources and Organisational Development standpoint, it is crucial to support a proactive approach to mental health and wellbeing. Acquiring the tools to develop and roll-out a cost-effective, scalable initiative can make a real difference at all levels of your organisation.