Wednesday 29 January, 2020

Seymour encourages Cayman businesses to support workers' mental health

The Minister of Health, Dwayne Seymour, in recognizing World Mental Health Day encouraged the business community to pay greater attention to the issue of mental well-being.

In line with this year’s theme, mental health in the workplace, Seymour stressed the importance of both mental health and physical health to worker productivity.

“While we in the Cayman Islands are a tiny dot on the world-wide scale, we must do all that we can to maintain and improve mental health in the workplace,” said Seymour.

Seymour noted that, a healthy work environment is not only vital for employees, but is directly related to their productivity and, in turn, the success of the company or organisation for which they work.

“I therefore urge employers in the Cayman Islands to ensure that they do everything within their power to support the mental health needs of their workers,” said Seymour .

“I also implore employers not to discriminate against staff who may suffer from mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, anxiety, depression or grief, “he added.

Seymour stressed that physical health and mental health are  both very important to a person’s overall well-being.

Citing the World Health Organization (WHO) Seymour said that many risk factors for mental health may be present in the working environment.

The Health Minister listed some of the risk factors, which he noted included but were not limited to , inadequate health and safety policies, poor communication and management policies, as well as limited participation in decision-making or control over one’s area of work.

Seymour noted that other factors included, low levels of support for employees, inflexible hours and unclear tasks or organisational objectives.

 The minister went on to note some of the ways to protect and promote mental health in the workplace which includes, the implementation and enforcement of health and safety policies and practices.

“It is also important to inform staff that support is available, involve employees in decision-making, and convey a feeling of control and participation; and to promote a healthy work-life balance,” said Seymour.

“Let us take this occasion of World Mental Health Day to focus on the situation and do everything possible to make employees and colleagues comfortable,”he added.

According to the WHO, the cost to the global economy through depression and anxiety in the workplace is a staggering $1 trillion per year in lost productivity.

 

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