A beautiful lady, well dressed, apparently coming back from work, exhibited signs of mental disorder around Agungi area in Lekki, Lagos State.

An eyewitness says she suddenly shouted, held her head and began to take off her clothes. First her blouse, then the skirt and finally her panties.

People were looking at her as she crossed from sanity to what looks more like madness than an intentional act.

Thank God, women were around to rush to her with their clothes.

She was not even bothered whether her guards were down. She wanted a calmness in her body no one could feel. 

Some times people refer to these situations as spiritual attacks, but there is a side to it that the World Health Organisation wants you to know about.

Work is one thing that makes people happy, especially when it comes with good remuneration, but it can also make one have mental heath issues if some harmful conditions and situations are not addressed.

The circumstances are capable of causing physical and mental health problems, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.

mental health issues at work place
Photo Credit: WHO

There are many risk factors for mental health that may be present in the working environment.

Most risks relate to interactions between type of work, the organisational and managerial environment, the skills and competencies of employees, and the support available for employees to carry out their work.

For example, a person may have the skills to complete tasks, but they may have too few resources to do what is required, or there may be unsupportive managerial or organisational practices.

Some of these risks lead to mental health issues. A list of others are;

1.    Inadequate health and safety policies

2.    Poor communication and management practice

3.    Limited participation in decision-making or low control over one’s area of work

4.    Low levels of support for employees

5.    Inflexible working hours

6.    Unclear tasks or organizational objectives

7.    Job content, such as unsuitable tasks for the person’s competencies or a high and unrelenting workload

8     Bullying and psychological harassment (also known as “mobbing”) are commonly reported causes of work-related stress by workers and present risks to the health of workers.

WHO also recommended a few things to do to ensure that your workplace is healthy.

1.    Development of governmental legislation, strategies and polices as highlighted by recent European Union Compass work in this area.

A healthy workplace can be described as one where workers and managers actively contribute to the working environment by promoting and protecting the health, safety and well-being of all employees.

2.    Protect mental health by reducing work–related risk factors.

3.    Promote mental health by developing the positive aspects of work and the strengths of employees.

4.    Address mental health problems regardless of cause.

5.   Awareness of the workplace environment and how it can be adapted to promote better mental health for different employees.

6.   Learning from the motivations of organizational leaders and employees who have taken action and

7.   Recognising and rewarding the contribution of employees

Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability, with many of these people also suffering from symptoms of anxiety.

WHO also estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.