Article Submitted by Christopher Adero, Project EHS, Q-Sourcing Servtec Kenya. 

Since the emergence of the Covid -19 pandemic, our day-to-day life has been disrupted. According to various reports, it may take a while before our lives are restored to a state of normalcy. Different measures have been taken to prevent the further spread of this pandemic such as social distancing, restrictions in movements, lockdowns together with consistent reports about the sporadic spread of this disease, fatalities and the socioeconomic effect of this virus on our society. This overload of information has brought anxiety and fear amongst the world’s population which has had a high negative impact on individuals’ mental health.

According to the ILO report on Mental Health at work (1990), there is an increase in the incidence of mental health problems today. Employees’ performance at work, rate of illness, absenteeism, accidents and staff turnover are all affected by the status of one’s mental health. The effect of mental health diseases on physical health and productivity has been underestimated with predictions pointing to a high dramatic rise of mental health problems during this pandemic and the future.

Organizations, therefore, need to be at the forefront of creating and implementing more resilient health and safety systems to promote good mental health and provide tools for early recognition and identification of mental health problems in employees. Organizations and businesses should adopt effective management styles that are based on openness, communication and dialogue that will help foster mental health at work. The employees can adopt good mental health habits by staying informed whilst avoiding information overload, staying connected with others, eating healthy and seeking help when they feel overwhelmed.

Remember to anticipate, prepare and respond to ensure the health and productivity of the employee at the workplace.

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