11 October 2017

Cameroon: Focus On Depressive Disorders

This year's World Mental Health Day Centres on actions that ensure the productivity of human resources

World Mental Health Day is observed today October 10, 2017, with the overall objective of raising awareness on mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health. "Mental Health in the Workplace" is the theme of this year's celebration. Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that, globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability, with many of these people also suffering from symptoms of anxiety. It is clear that during adulthood, a large proportion of people's time is spent at work. Experience in the workplace is one of the factors that determine the overall wellbeing of people. Health experts say there are many risk factors for mental health that may be present in the working environment. Most risks relate to interactions between types of work, the organisational and managerial environment and the support available for employees to carry out their work. Other risks to mental health include; inadequate health and safety policies, poor communication and management practices, limited participation in decision-making or low control over one's area of work. Risks may also be related to job content, such as unsuitable tasks for the person's competencies or a high and unrelenting workload. Some jobs may carry a higher personal risk than others (e.g. first responders and humanitarian workers), which can have an impact on mental health and be a cause of symptoms of mental disorders, or lead to harmful use of alcohol or psychoactive drugs. Risk may also increase in situations where there is a lack of team cohesion or social support. Bullying and psychological harassment are commonly reported causes of work-related stress by workers and present risks to the health of workers Knowing that someone suffering from mental health is less productive at his/her jobsite, the government has made it a routine to intensify educative campaigns on Mental Health while also creating Mental Health units in various hospital in the country with staff (although limited) to handle those who present signs of anxiety.

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