Workshop casts light on mental health and disorders

2015-08-26 06:00

THE Welkom police received information about the importance of mental health for optimum performance in the workplace at a workshop held in Welkom recently.

It was conducted by Welkom Cluster Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) presenters, Cethekile Kunene, social worker, and Khutsitse Makole, psychometrist.

It mainly focused on aspects affecting performance, such as anxiety, panic attacks, bi-polar disorders, depression, eating disorders and postnatal depression.

Capt. Stephen Thakeng, Welkom police spokesperson, said the workshop on mental health was prompted by the findings of studies that indicate that South Africans are living with dangerously high levels of stress.

He said findings by Statistics SA revealed that mental health problems lead to employees’ absenteeism, which costs the economy billions of rands annually.

Thakeng said following introspection, members were encouraged to support colleagues experiencing mental health problems.

According to Khutsitse, depression is the most common cause of concern in the workplace.

He said that the World Health Organisation research shows that depression has the potential to cause disability.

“Globally, more that 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.

“People who are depressed may be tearful, nervous or irritable, lose interest in their work and find it difficult to concentrate, lose their appetite and, at worst, they may feel suicidal,” said Khutsitse.

She said those affected resort to substance abuse, such as alcohol, as a remedy to stressful situations.

The following were identified as signs of possible substance abuse: abrupt decline in attendance, quality and output of work, irritability, paranoia and being withdrawn, withdrawal from responsibility, decline in physical appearance and grooming, unusual borrowing of money from friends and co-workers and requests for leave around payday.

According to Khutsitse, treating affected members with respect and dignity and engaging them privately would help to address the situation

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