A survey carried out by a technology firm, WellNewMe and the Dennis Ashley Medial Clinic (DAMC) have shown that four in five employees in Nigeria are at risk of mental health issues.
The survey which was carried out among 6,800 employees aged between 20 to 60 years and spread across Nigeria looked at risks of Nigerian workers developing mental health issues in the workplace.
Sharing thoughts on the survey, the Principal Clinician at DAMC, Dr. Oge Ilegbune said the process involved the use of an online questionnaire on WellNewMe’s health risk assessment platform, where the responses were analysed by algorithms and recommendations made to each individual based on the risk factors.
Ilegbune said: “Each survey in the series includes core questions, and as well as modules of questions on specific topics relating to certain areas including the strong relationship between physical and mental wellbeing was often overlooked in Nigeria. An individual is in good health only when there is a balance between the different elements of well-being. Being physically fit but mentally or emotionally unwell translates to poor health and a need to seek medical attention. Unfortunately this is still poorly understood in our society. Healthcare practitioners have a lot of work to do in educating individuals and organizations that a much needed balance is required to achieve complete good health.”
“The survey revealed that four in five of all employees, (79 per cent) had an increased risk of developing mental health issues, and while the risk was evenly split amongst the two genders, it decreased with the age of the employees. Study also showed that eight per cent of Nigerian employees had an increased risk for developing depression, which is double the actual incidence rate currently recorded and making Nigeria the country with the highest caseload of depression in Africa, according to WHO.”
According to the co-Founder, WellNewMe, and Director with DAMC), Dr. Obi Igbokwe, “Stress is often one of those conditions when left unchecked can have a significant impact on an individual physical and mental state, and sometimes render them incapable of performing an optimal level at work. Because, there are no checks for stress, it often goes unnoticed but still gets reflected in the company’s bottom line. Besides it being damaging to employees health, it can be a silent killer for a business of any size.”
On her part, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Founder, Green Oaks Consulting, Dr. Chinwe Obinwa, said: “The result of the survey should be of concern to all organisations including small businesses in Nigeria. The business case for mental health interventions in the workplace for addressing mental health difficulties is well established,” she continued. “Studies have indicated that tailored mental health programmes would have significant improvement on absenteeism and productivity in the workplace”.