Focus on employees’ mental health, psychologist challenge employers

Counseling Psychologist Gladys Chania [courtesy]

Employers in the country have been advised to pay close attention to mental health status of their employees.

Counseling Psychologist Gladys Chania says many employees in the country grapple with mental health issues but it often goes unnoticed until it climaxes to a major fatality.

“There is no health without mental health because unexpressed emotions will never die; they come back in uglier ways,” she says during an interview with Jamhuri News on Tuesday.

According to Wikipedia, mental health is the “psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment or simply the absence of mental illness.”

Mental illness is characterized by depression, anxiety and panic attacks, eating disorder, bipolar disorder; obsessive compulsive disorder, personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis.

Chania who runs the Right@ Home Rehabilitation centre in Thika cites that the right mental health status is an integral part of developing the nation.

She points out that it affects how an individual thinks, feels and acts. Further, she offers, the mental well-being of employees is crucial in their performance because it determines how they handle stress, relate with one another and their ability to make informed decisions.

In addressing this shortcoming within work places, the counseling psychologist indicates that government needs to enact policies with the aim of keeping in check mental health status among workers.

“The Ministry of Health should emphasize on policies towards mental health at all work places.

“Every employer should observe a mental health friendly environment to her workers for example by good pay, good allowances, reasonable and tenable workload, team building and through effective communication. At the end of the day, good mental health translates to superb performance of the organization.”