A non-governmental organisation, Gede Foundation, has urged the Federal Government to promote mental health in work places across the country.
The NGO made the call at a symposium it organized to mark the 2017 World Mental Health Day with the theme: “Mental Health in the Workplace”.
Speaking at the event, the Performance Director: Resource Mobilisation and Partnership Management of the NGO, Mr Godwin Etim said the symposium was to let people know how mental health can be promoted in work places across Nigeria.
He said the objective was to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health.
He added that if the bill on mental health which is currently with the national assembly is passed into law, Nigerian workers would be protected from abuse and stigmatization they go through as a result of mental illnesses.
“The passage of the bill would help secure large portion of Nigerians affected with issue of mental health in work places and create room for people to care and support for people affected rather than stigmatizing them,” he said.
A clinical psychologist at Karu General Hospital, Mr Samuel Jinadu who said a large proportion of Nigerians are having mental issues also added that the Health Management Organisations do not have mental health or affective disorder as part of their coverage.
He enjoined organisations to designed their work places in a way that is supportive to people who has mental health-related issues.
Jinadu further added that stress, which is one of the causes of mental health, is not a bad thing but how it is been perceived adding that we cannot be immune from stress.
“Today, we look at mental health in work environment and one thing that is very prominent is that stress is emanating because of the way the work space is being designed and that is affecting productivity,” he noted.
He said: “Employers should make sure that mental health issue is no more a stigmatising issue so that people do not get demoralized, dismissed, demoted because they have mental health issue rather they get support.”
Article culled from the Daily Trust Newspaper