Mental health and wellness in the workplace
Hendrik Theofilus. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Mental health and wellness in the workplace

The prevalence of mental health challenges in the African Region, as highlighted by the UN report on mental health, necessitates urgent attention, especially in the workplace.



The report indicated that in 2019, the region recorded the highest suicide rate globally, estimated at 11.2 per 100 000 population. WHO estimated Namibia alone reported a rate of 9.7 per 100 000 population, primarily attributed to mental stress. Scholars pointed out that mental health is intrinsic and instrumental to the lives of all people, as it influences how we think, feel and act.



It underpins our ability to make decisions and build relationships at the workplace.



Recognising the impact of mental health on individuals’ lives underscores the urgent necessity to address mental health issues in the workplace.



HR role



Human resources practitioners play a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of employees. Beyond their traditional responsibilities of administering conditions of service and employee benefits, HR professionals are also entrusted with essential psychological support.



This support is crucial to maintaining the mental well-being of employees, a factor that significantly influences their ability to fulfil organisational mandates. The Ministry of Justice depends on HR officers to recruit professionals with diverse educational backgrounds, including legal experts, to fulfil its mandate of ensuring accessible justice and delivering high-quality legal services.



A successful example involves the HR team hiring brilliant legal experts and professionals with extensive knowledge and innovative approaches, as this will significantly contribute to the ministry’s goal of providing effective and equitable legal services to the public. Therefore, it is crucial for the Ministry of Justice or any other ministries to implement strategies that bolster support for the mental well-being of its employees. This approach will foster an environment that nurtures and sustains these professionals, leading to higher job satisfaction, increased retention rates, and improved overall well-being.



Personal perspective



In the public service sector, high turnover rates pose a significant concern for HR practitioners. The demanding workload and resulting work stress often drive dedicated staff members to seek more mentally nourishing environments. To counter this trend, it is recommended that employers invest in wellness activities and mental health checks for staff members. This not only fosters employee recognition and motivation but also aligns with the African ethos of Ubuntu, which says, ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.



Impact of mental health and wellness



Neglecting mental health in the workplace leads to adverse effects such as poor productivity, increased absenteeism, high staff turnover and subpar performance. Additionally, mental health issues contribute to psychological challenges like anxiety and depression, hindering concentration and decision-making abilities. Establishing a comprehensive workplace mental health support and wellness programme is imperative to counter these issues. Such initiatives not only benefit employees’ health but also enhance performance and reduce turnover rates.



Overall health



Prioritising mental health education and wellness in the workplace is crucial for fostering a supportive organisational culture. By improving understanding and increasing access to mental health care, organisations can contribute to a healthier and more productive workforce. Human resources practitioners are responsible for ensuring that employees receive timely and effective mental health services. Ultimately, while work is essential, it should never come at the expense of one’s health.

Advertisments

LaLiga: Deportivo Alaves 1 vs 0 Getafe | Real Sociedad 1 vs 0 Valencia | Almería 0 vs 2 Barcelona | Las Palmas 2 vs 2 Real Betis SerieA: Torino 3 vs 1 AC Milan | Lecce 0 vs 2 Atalanta | Fiorentina 2 vs 2 Napoli European Championships Qualifying: Southampton 3 vs 1 West Bromwich Albion | Leeds United 4 vs 0 Norwich City English Championship: Southampton 3 vs 1 West Bromwich Albion | Leeds United 4 vs 0 Norwich City | Katima Mulilo: 11° | 31° Rundu: 9° | 30° Eenhana: 11° | 31° Oshakati: 12° | 31° Ruacana: 12° | 31° Tsumeb: 13° | 29° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 14° | 29° Windhoek: 12° | 26° Gobabis: 13° | 27° Henties Bay: 20° | 36° Wind speed: 27km/h, Wind direction: E, Low tide: 07:06, High tide: 13:28, Low Tide: 19:06, High tide: 01:31 Swakopmund: 20° | 26° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 07:04, High tide: 13:26, Low Tide: 19:04, High tide: 01:29 Walvis Bay: 22° | 33° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: SE, Low tide: 07:04, High tide: 13:25, Low Tide: 19:04, High tide: 01:28 Rehoboth: 12° | 27° Mariental: 15° | 29° Keetmanshoop: 18° | 30° Aranos: 15° | 29° Lüderitz: 16° | 35° Ariamsvlei: 18° | 32° Oranjemund: 13° | 33° Luanda: 24° | 26° Gaborone: 14° | 27° Lubumbashi: 11° | 26° Mbabane: 12° | 25° Maseru: 8° | 24° Antananarivo: 15° | 22° Lilongwe: 13° | 26° Maputo: 20° | 27° Windhoek: 12° | 26° Cape Town: 14° | 21° Durban: 17° | 28° Johannesburg: 15° | 24° Dar es Salaam: 24° | 32° Lusaka: 13° | 25° Harare: 12° | 26° | Currency: GBP to NAD 23.01 | EUR to NAD 19.73 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.15 | DZD to NAD 0.13 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.7 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.55 | RUB to NAD 0.2 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.35 | USD to AOA 847.42 | USD to BWP 13.49 | USD to EGP 46.86 | USD to KES 130.48 | USD to NGN 1467 | USD to ZAR 18.15 | USD to ZMW 25.45 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79530.63 Up +0.03% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1754.58 Up +0.81% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13426.13 Up +0.11% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 26142.84 Up +3.27% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9151.06 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 414.72/OZ UP +1.55% | Copper US$ 5.04/lb UP +4.12% | Zinc US$ 3 059.30/T UP 0.11% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 84.28/BBP UP +0.60% | Platinum US$ 1 084.88/OZ UP +2.19% | Sport results: LaLiga: Deportivo Alaves 1 vs 0 Getafe | Real Sociedad 1 vs 0 Valencia | Almería 0 vs 2 Barcelona | Las Palmas 2 vs 2 Real Betis SerieA: Torino 3 vs 1 AC Milan | Lecce 0 vs 2 Atalanta | Fiorentina 2 vs 2 Napoli European Championships Qualifying: Southampton 3 vs 1 West Bromwich Albion | Leeds United 4 vs 0 Norwich City English Championship: Southampton 3 vs 1 West Bromwich Albion | Leeds United 4 vs 0 Norwich City Weather: Katima Mulilo: 11° | 31° Rundu: 9° | 30° Eenhana: 11° | 31° Oshakati: 12° | 31° Ruacana: 12° | 31° Tsumeb: 13° | 29° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 14° | 29° Windhoek: 12° | 26° Gobabis: 13° | 27° Henties Bay: 20° | 36° Wind speed: 27km/h, Wind direction: E, Low tide: 07:06, High tide: 13:28, Low Tide: 19:06, High tide: 01:31 Swakopmund: 20° | 26° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 07:04, High tide: 13:26, Low Tide: 19:04, High tide: 01:29 Walvis Bay: 22° | 33° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: SE, Low tide: 07:04, High tide: 13:25, Low Tide: 19:04, High tide: 01:28 Rehoboth: 12° | 27° Mariental: 15° | 29° Keetmanshoop: 18° | 30° Aranos: 15° | 29° Lüderitz: 16° | 35° Ariamsvlei: 18° | 32° Oranjemund: 13° | 33° Luanda: 24° | 26° Gaborone: 14° | 27° Lubumbashi: 11° | 26° Mbabane: 12° | 25° Maseru: 8° | 24° Antananarivo: 15° | 22° Lilongwe: 13° | 26° Maputo: 20° | 27° Windhoek: 12° | 26° Cape Town: 14° | 21° Durban: 17° | 28° Johannesburg: 15° | 24° Dar es Salaam: 24° | 32° Lusaka: 13° | 25° Harare: 12° | 26° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.01 | EUR to NAD 19.73 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.15 | DZD to NAD 0.13 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.7 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.55 | RUB to NAD 0.2 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.35 | USD to AOA 847.42 | USD to BWP 13.49 | USD to EGP 46.86 | USD to KES 130.48 | USD to NGN 1467 | USD to ZAR 18.15 | USD to ZMW 25.45 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79530.63 Up +0.03% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1754.58 Up +0.81% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13426.13 Up +0.11% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 26142.84 Up +3.27% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9151.06 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 414.72/OZ UP +1.55% | Copper US$ 5.04/lb UP +4.12% | Zinc US$ 3 059.30/T UP 0.11% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 84.28/BBP UP +0.60% | Platinum US$ 1 084.88/OZ UP +2.19% |