11 October 2017

Zimbabwe: One in Four People Affected By Mental Health Problems

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(File photo).

Ministry of Health and Child Care on Tuesday launched the World Health Mental day and World Suicide Prevention to raise awareness on mental health issues as well as mobilizing support of mental health care in the country.

Running under the theme "Mental Health in the Workplace," the commemorations were organised to address the value of promoting well-being in the work settings.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa, Principal Director for Preventive Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Gibson Mhlanga stated that mental health is often neglected as an aspect of employees' health.

"Most working people spend over 60% of their wakeful hours at work, therefore mental health at work is at the heart of daily social interactions,

"Globally one in four people will likely experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives,

"Many studies document a high prevalence of stress in the workplace," said Mhlanga.

He added that non - conducive environment may lead to physical and mental health problems among employees.

"Work statistics indicate that one in five people in the workplace experience a mental health condition,

"An estimated 10% of the employed population has taken time off work for depression and an average of 36 workdays is lost when a worker gets depressed,

"Therefore employees' mental well-being is fundamentally important to the organization's success," he added.

Mhlanga encouraged people to take time to notice what is going on in their families as a measure to combat suicide.

"WHO estimates that one person dies every 40 seconds, awareness has to be raised around suicide that it can be prevented," he emphasized.

Speaking on behalf of World Health Organization, Country Team Advisor, Dr Anderson Chimusoro said that workplace well - being is key to ensuring a healthy, sustainable workforce which is essential for a more productive country.

"WHO has produced the "Protecting Workers Health" series which provides guidance on common issues such as harassment and stress that can affect the health of workers," he added.

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