'It is time companies design policies that encourage mental health wellness'

With the recent spotlight on depression and how people take their own lives just because they feel can't take it anymore, more emphasis is put on mental wellness in the workplace.

Should companies have mental wellness policies in place to accommodate employees with mental health problems?

Psychiatrist Dr Sebolelo Seape says it makes very good business sense for companies to care about their employee's mental health. This is because businesses lose a lot of money due to absenteeism and lack of productivity as a result of mental health.

Read: Review SA's mental healthcare system, says psychiatric body

I think it would make a difference if companies took it seriously and design policies that encourage mental health wellness.

Dr Sebolelo Seape, Psychiatrist

It should be talked about openly without fear of prejudice, fear of losing your job or a stake in the company. The company should at least spare something into educating workers, giving programmes about mental health, signs and symptoms and encourage help-seeking behaviour.

Dr Sebolelo Seape, Psychiatrist

Seape says looking at the kind of work or industry, companies should be in a position to anticipate the kind problems their employees might be faced on daily basis.

Like call centre agents, for example, they deal with a lot of abuse from clients daily which could result in an enormous emotional and mental strain.

If the company looks after its employees it will always benefit. Even if the company is going through a hard time, the employees will actually know that they are being cared for and they are being appreciated.

Dr Sebolelo Seape, Psychiatrist

To hear the rest of the conversation with Dr Sebolelo Seape, listen below:


This article first appeared on 702 : 'It is time companies design policies that encourage mental health wellness'


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