By IFEOMA IKEM
A behavioural change advisor, Sam Obafemi, has harped on the importance of employers providing a conducive worker- friendly environment to help manage stress and depression among their employees.
Obafemi said 46% of workers across the world reported logging more than 40hours per week, were identified as suffering from stress.
He disclosed this during the SpeakOut maiden series on Stress and Depression in Lagos.
He said government has very important role to play, and that reducing workload is essential. According to him, as enjoyable as it is working, the correlated effect of stress on one’s psychology often leads to sucidal acts.
He identified higher workloads and inefficient work system among factors responsible for this malaise.
A consultant neuro-psychiatrist, Dr Maymunnah Kadiri, urged Nigerians to adopt diverse positive measures to reduce stress and depression in the country. Kadiri, the Medical Director of Pinnacle Medical Services, Lagos, also called on the Federal Government to pay more attention to mental health.
She said, “there is need for Nigeria to pay more attention to mental health through a signed bill, and that the mental health budget should be increased.“What we have currently is less than one per cent of the nation’s budget.“Again, measures for psychological first aid, as is being advocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), should be in place.“Adequate medication, as well as family, psychological, financial and environmental support should also be in place, because, these are pathways to recovery for every individual with mental challenge.”According to her, suicide and other outcomes of mental ill health are on the increase in Nigeria.“We are dealing with a lot of issues; businesses are falling, things are expensive, cash is hard to come by and basic amenities are lacking.“This is taking a toll on the mental health of Nigerians; it makes people vulnerable to becoming suicidal, aggressive, violent, unruly, corrupt and other anti-social behaviours.“The statistics may not be there, but by observations, people are bottling up their emotions and challenges, instead of speaking out.“There is need for people to speak out; let us not be intimidated and bottle up our anxieties and frustrations.“We have to get the `garbages’ inside of us out; it is the rock to breaking the barrier and reducing stigma; people are encouraged to seek help,’’ Kadiri said.
Kadiri said that there was need to identify individual stressors to deal with most of the day-to-day stressors of life.
Also said people should take up positive activities that could modulate or ease their stresses.“These positive activities include exercise, sporting activities, acquiring additional skills, hobbies such as dancing, gardening, music, reading, story-telling and going on vacation,’’ she said.The expert said the first line for depression was therapy and counselling, adding that it could be from family members, friends, religious leaders and medical experts. She said an individual should not to wait till he or she was battered, violated, injured or close to committing suicide, before seeking for help
Bayo Rotimi, CEO at Quest Advisory Services Limited, spoke on the need to take some spiritual steps before embarking on business to be successful in life. He said:”As human beings, we need to link through our spiritual call because that is what will drive our integrity to be successful.”
For you to succeed in any business you need to sort out your spiritual call it will help you to overcome any challenges.
He further stated the need for each individual to find a way to impart in mankind and thus leave a better world.
“One of the richest men in the world uses 90 percent of his assets to transform people he never met and believes he never will,” he pointed out.
On recession in the country, he lamented that “the country’s leaders have failed us; all their attention is focused on oil,” saying they refused to invest or impart on individuals.