Foundation urges organisations to take mental well-being seriously
In order for employees to be more productive, Chairman United Bank for Africa (UBA) Foundation, Kennedy Uzoka, has emphasised the need for organisations to take mental well-being at the workplace seriously.
Speaking at a mental health awareness week organised by UBA foundation in Lagos last Tuesday, he said mental well-being is something that everyone knows but nobody wants to talk about it because people think it is bad.
From experience, he said he had seen people dress well to work but have mental health related issues. According to him, “people should not hide. They should be very free to express these challenges. We need to tackle it especially in the workplace because you can only get good productive people when these things are done properly. I am happy that this has commenced and we going to different levels.”
Sharing her perspective, Director, Group Human Resources, UBA, Patricia Aderibigbe, said wellness is very important, noting that it is a subset of well- being.
She added that there is a spectrum of mental illness in everyone. She listed types of mental well-being such as: career well-being, social well-being, physical well-being and community well-being.
According to her, “organisations now understand that they have a role to play. Someone can be present at work but mentally ill, so, organisations lose more from presence than absence. COVID-19 has made mental health issues more glaring. It is a journey and we are not there yet.”
One of the panelists, a consultant psychologist, Angel Yinkore said, everyone has daily stressors that they cope with. She identified different types of mental issues as mental distress, mental illness and mental disorders.
Another panelist and clinical psychologist, Chris Abojei, said there is increased awareness, stressing that many people now understand what mental health issues is all about. She said younger people are also coming out to seek help.