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Oct 11, 2017

How Not to Go Overboard Mentally at Work

On Tuesday, Belize joined the rest of the world to observe Mental Health Day. And as we reported, this year the focus is on mental health in the work place. While work is good for mental health, a negative working environment can lead not only to physical health problems, but also mental health problems. Across the world, depression and anxiety have significant economic impact and cost the global economy around one trillion U.S. dollar per year in lost productivity. Locally, we have a far way to go in terms of supporting the mental health of employees but there are many actions that can take place to promote good mental health and efficiency in the workplace. News Five’s Andrea Polanco shares more from Tuesday’s launch about mental health in the work place.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Globally, One in four people will be affected by mental health problem at some point or another during their lifetime.


Eleanor Bennett

Eleanor Bennett, Nursing Administrator, Mental Health Unit, M.O.H.

“And that is a lot of people. If we divide ourselves into four and select one from that four right in here, all things being equally, many of us probably had, is suffering from or will have in the future some kind or form of mental health issues; so this is big.”


And if our mental health deteriorates into a condition it is a fact that people will take these symptoms to work and they will not perform their duties well.


Eleanor Bennett

“In some people places there is a lot of accidents because of mental ill health; high turnover of staff meaning that people leave quite often leave quite often.  The way we are wired or the way we have been designed, we can’t leave our mental health issue at home once we go to work. It just doesn’t work like that because it so happens that once you are affected with a mental health disorder it kinda infiltrate every activity that you do, including your performance at work.”


But in Belize the employee mental health status in most organizations or work places is not on the list of priorities for employers, but the Ministry of Health and other partners want to see that change.


Laura Longworth

Laura Longworth, Guest Speaker

“Mental health strategies must be integrated into human resource plans designed to address the health and well-being of employees. Adoption of epidemiological strategies will support risk reduction, prevention, early detection, management, and rehabilitation of persons with mental health issues or disabilities in the work place; promoting a balance work life; ensuring adequate staffing levels; and participation in decision making processes are factors that foster optimal mental health in the work place. Employees must be sensitized to policies on gender-based violence and sexual harassment in the work place that already exist but very few of us know about. We must develop policies and strategies to reduce horizontal violence and discrimination and include key threads of human and constitutional rights throughout these policies.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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