One in ten people in the workplace suffers from mental illness and one of the root causes is the attitude of management towards workers.Making the statements yesterday was Dr Varma Deyalsingh, secretary of the Association of Psychiatrists, who was speaking on the topic Addressing metal illnesses in the workplace.He spoke at a seminar at the Employers Solution Centre, Aranguez.
Deyalsingh said depression involved feelings of sadness, despair and helplessness.Saying mental illness had many faces, Deyalsingh added: "You can have someone coming into the workplace looking sad and you can have someone else coming in hearing voices and being paranoid, thinking their colleagues are against them and always bad-talking them."
Stress in the workplace was another factor which must be closely monitored, as this could not only be transmitted to the home but could lead to a host of illnesses, such as hypertension."Everyone experiences some degree of stress, but it is how it affects us socially, how it affects our relationship with our colleagues, and with those in the home, that we have to look at," Delaysingh said."Stress in the workplace is also related to stress in the home...You cannot isolate one from the other."
He added that other causes of depression in the workplace could result from the job itself, working conditions and relationships in that environment.To reduce depression in the workplace, Deyalsingh added, an action plan was needed which must firstly identify the problem, source the background of the problem and how it was discovered and then identify the remedial action required and reasons for the action.
Managers must also be sensitive to issues of female employees especially when menstruating, he said."The boss may have to know during that time not to give any added assignments," Deyalsingh said."We also need to educate men about this, because a lot of them complain that their wives are very grumpy, very irritable, and you have to agree with everything they say."
The area where someone lives could also lead to depression."It is found that people who have lower socio-economic class may have a higher risk of depression. The environment in which we live in would also affect our mental illness," Deyalsingh added.