“In South Africa, one out of four people suffer from mental health issues”
This is according to Dr Renata Schoeman, who spoke on the impact of mental illness on the workforce at the Corporate Wellness Day hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School on Friday 12 May 2017 in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa still has a culture of silence surrounding mental health problems in the workplace. Employers and employees are unwilling to talk openly about conditions such as anxiety and depression for fear of association with weakness and failure. However, healthy employees are productive employees. Investing in a mentally healthy workforce is good business. It can curb medical costs, increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and prevent and decrease disability costs. Investing in mental health also improves employee motivation, staff retention and competitiveness. The following experts shared their insights at the seminar:
- Prof Piet Naudé, Director, USB: The ethical responsibility of leadership to enable multi-dimensional staff wellness.
- Dr Renata Schoeman, Private Psychiatrist; Part-time Senior Lecturer: Leadership, USB: Clinical aspects of common mental health problems such as burnout and the importance of self-care.
- Dr Tienie Stander, CEO, TCD Outcomes: The value of technology in corporate wellness assessments, interventions and outcome measurements.
- Prof Christoffel Grobler, Associate professor, Walter Sisulu University; Clinical Head, Elizabeth Donkin hospital: The prevention and assessment of disability.
The following article from heraldlive.co.za by Estelle Ellis, provides more insights into the seminar.