World Mental Health Day 2017,  promoting Mental health in the workplace

NAIROBI, Kenya, 9 October 2017 – Kenya joins the rest of the world to observe the World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10th October 2017.  The theme is Mental Health in the workplace.

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health.

This year’s theme “Mental Health in the Workplace” aims to provide individuals and employers with information about how they can support self-care and well-being; address the negative attitude and prejudice associated with mental ill health in the workplace; empower individuals and employees to take actions that promote mental health resilience and spread the understanding of employment practices that support good mental health.

To commemorate the day the Ministry of Health Department of Mental Health has been conducting workshops at the Ministry of Labor and Social Services and the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs to sensitize public servants on the mental health issues and the Teachers Service Commission has already initiated a wellness clinic for employees to promote mental awareness at workplace.

Meanwhile, the Mental Health is planning a major workshop targeting human resource managers from both the public and private sector to get them initiate programmes and policies for employees’ mental well-being while the Students Campaign against Drug Abuse (SCAD) is partnering with the Ministry to organize competitions for creative writing, spoken word and music based on the theme.

Research shows that one in four adults will experience mental health difficulties while 10% of the population has taken time off work due depression. According to the Director of Mental Health, Dr. Simon Njuguna, prejudice and discrimination are significant barriers that derive people off their dignity. “To make dignity in mental health a reality requires every member of the society to work together, it requires action in the community and importantly at the workplace,” he said.

Mental Health in workplace theme addresses the value of promoting mental well-being in work setting, for the overall health and productivity.  The Ministry of Health, World Mental Day 2017 event will be marked at Gilgil Hospital in Nakuru County from 8:00 AM on Tuesday 10th October 2017. The Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko and the World Health Organizations’ country representative Dr. Rudi Eggers will grace the occasion among others.