Dr Mazvita Machinga
Mental Health Issues
Over the many years of clinical therapeutic work, I have learned that several companies, organisations, and workplaces have visible and remarkable physical health programs.
Some have health care clinics on their premises, while some engage outside health care providers.
Every week, staff are exposed to medical care and check-ups.
This is indeed commendable and needs to continue.
However, what has surprised me is the gap that exists when it comes to mental health.
There is noticeable absence of mental wellness support programs in many workplaces, yet we all know that there is no health without mental health.
There is a substantial need for investing and integrating care between our physical, social, and mental health.
For the twenty-two years that I have been in the mental health sector, I have learned that integrated healthcare is no longer an exception.
Workplaces need to have or engage behavioural health and mental wellness clinicians on their team.
This promotes holistic care which is provided by a collaborative team delivering diverse services.
I view mental and behavioural healthcare as a crucial piece of any company wellness plan, rather than a separate entity.
Supporting behavioural and mental wellness in the workplace is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity and is the first step to company success.
Thus, every workplace needs to improve the quality of life of their employees by mainstreaming behavioural and mental wellness interventions.
In both behavioural and mental wellness sensitization, we teach our employees how to engage in healthy behaviours so they can live a full and satisfying life.
Positive behavioural and mental wellness allows people to work more productively, cope better with everyday stress, maintain a positive outlook and engage in healthy habits.
These are set of interventions that are health-promoting and they prevent diseases, decrease morbidities, improve the quality of life, increase productivity and decrease healthcare costs.
For health-promoting behaviours, we include eating habits, getting regular physical activity, alcohol drinking and smoking effects, getting enough sleep, and maintaining positive socio-emotional connections.
This is important since these can impact physical or mental wellness.
Behavioural health intervention reminds us of the connection between behaviours (what people do), the health and well-being of the body, mind, and spirit.
Mental wellness is essential for leading a happy, fulfilling life. It affects how one feels, thinks, and behaves.
Mental wellness is a lifelong process and a proactive strategy to strengthen our mental, emotional, social, and psychological resources.
On one level, mental wellness is about prevention, coping with life’s adversity and being resilient when we face stress, worry, loneliness, anger, and sadness.
Good mental wellness is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil several key functions and activities, including the ability to learn, the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions, as well as the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others.
Promoting employee behavioural and mental wellness
1) Each Human Resources department should intentionally ensure that they have a workplace behavioral and mental wellness policy, just as they have a physical health policy.
2) Since these are expert areas, HR departments may utilise third-party professional service providers for additional behavioral mental health support.
3) Employees can use simple Apps from the comfort of their homes as a way of monitoring their wellness.
4) Behavioural and mental wellness sensitization can be included on company Wellness Expos.
5) Organise and support family days for your employees, even in departments.
So, why don’t you join us in taking a whole person approach to wellness and do not be left behind.
Addressing employee behavioural and mental wellness issues can improve the productivity of your company and employees’ quality of life.
Feel free to contact us for more information about creating a vibrant behavioural and mental wellness program for your organization
Dr Mazvita Machinga Ph.D. is a qualified consulting psychotherapist and mental health specialist based in Mutare and can be contacted at 0771 754 519, 0778 83 84 10, Toll free Helpline 08080482 Email address [email protected]