Productivity and Mental Health in the Workplace

Increased awareness about mental health in Malawi has escalated the level of concern shown by citizens and organizations. Resultantly, there has been an increase in the availability of psychosocial services provided by specialists in the country. These services are offered to individuals, outside the workplace. It is still in question as to how much psychosocial assistance organisations have to offer their employees.

For decades, organisations have looked at an increase in productivity as cutting costs and increasing output. Labour productivity = Units produced/number of employees at work; this is an example of a formula used by organizations to increase labour productivity. Resultantly, the psychosocial aspect of the employee is often overlooked.

Increase in workload or working hours may escalate stress and pressure on the human mind. This could result in employee burnout or make it difficult for them to attain a work-home balance.

A human’s psychosocial aspect is equally of importance when it comes to increasing productivity in an organisation. According to Lee L Jampolsky, a psychologist, “health does not only refer to the state of the body, but also the state of the mind, which affects the body”. Consequently, the mind affects the body, which in turn affects an employee’s level of productivity.

It is important for organisations to not only look at cutting costs as increasing productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Investing in psychosocial support for employees has the potential to fuel an organisation’s levels of productivity through increased employee efficiency.

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Facing the Future with Hope

For an organism that can only be seen under a microscope, the coronavirus has caused havoc and unease amongst Malawians. People have been bound to their homes and others to smaller spaces as we are encouraged to keep social distance to avoid rapid spread of the virus. Businesses have been closed and jobs have been lost, making young people hopeless. The pandemic has significantly disrupted the education, socialization, and mental health of adolescents and youth.

As people think of ways to survive amidst the pandemic, thoughts and stress overcome their minds. The first wave of the novel coronavirus saw a rise in the number of suicide cases across the world and this second wave has greater effects on the economy and its people. In a country where there are limited opportunities for young people, drug and alcohol abuse becomes an option. In Malawi, the mental health situation is worsening by the day. The high stigmatization levels add on to the frustrations of individuals. Furthermore, there are no psychologists in public health hospitals and mental health appears to be an afterthought in our hospitals.

Facing the future with hope means making huge strides in creating a global youth village where young people fulfil their potential. For this to happen, it is important to encourage one another to speak out , raise awareness, create safe spaces for peer to peer support and building capacity of young people as first aiders for prevention and referral services. This is the game changer in avoiding the worst case scenario, suicide.


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