WHO Marks World Mental Health Day 2017

Mental illness doesn’t just affect those who roam about naked muttering to themselves. It doesn’t just affect those who are in the psychiatrist wards. It affects a big percentage of seemingly normal people who have families, regular jobs, and even excellent social lives.

It is an issue that many have but may not know, or are scared to talk about.

On this October 10, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the World Mental Health Day with the theme ‘Mental health in the workplace’.

In a statement, the organisation reveals the reason for picking the theme. It said “During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains, not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.

Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders that have an impact on our ability to work and to work productively. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of these people live with both. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity” the statement read.

To support the awareness towards mental health, Nigeria’s purpose-built private mental hospital, The Retreat situated in Ikorodu, Lagos, holds a mental awareness and free mental health screening on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, by 10 am.

Speaking of the free exercise in a statement published by PUNCH, Chief Executive Officer of The Retreat, Dr. Olufemi Oluwatayo said, “ We know that many employers and organisations do not see issues of mental health at the workplace as a priority and many employees may be suffering in silence. We, therefore, feel that this is an opportunity to help screen people for common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression and advice on treatment pathways if necessary.”

He further revealed that skilled doctors of the hospital will be on call both on the phone and at The Retreat campus in Ikorodu to offer confidential help.