Managing Director and Chief Executive Office of FBNBank Ghana Mr. Victor Asante has called on corporate leaders to prioritise the mental health of their employees just as they do for their physical health needs. According to him, a focus on mental health engineered at the top of the corporate structure can enhance the support system of the organisation and lead to enhanced productivity.
Mr. Asante made these remarks as a guest speaker at the launch of the book ‘What is on your mind?’ and a mental health outreach and fundraiser event at the Chartered Institute of Bankers. The book is the fifth of Mr. Daniel Delasie Dogbey, who is a multi-talented young author, corporate trainer, business development and communication strategist, prestigious 40under40 award-winner and a Rotarian.
According to Mr. Asante, “corporate leaders play a fundamental role in shaping the organisational culture. When leaders openly acknowledge and prioritise mental health, they set the tone for the entire organisation”. He further opined that “demonstrating a commitment to mental well-being sends a powerful message to employees that their mental health is valued, and that seeking support is both encouraged and supported”.
Mental, neurological and substance use disorders account for over 10 percent of the global disease burden and there are some 2.3 million in Ghana with mental health conditions and need care, according to the World Health Organization. However, 75 percent of people with mental disorders receive no treatment in low-to-middle income countries.
Mr. Asante believes that prioritising mental health at the workplace will help reduce the number of people with the condition and improve the support system for those currently needing treatment. Mr. Asante mentioned: “It is crucial for us to recognise that our employees are not just workers, but individuals with unique experiences and struggles. By championing mental health well-being, we create an environment that values and supports these persons”.
He suggested that flexible work arrangements, employee assistance programmes, access to mental health resources, training and education about mental health awareness and resilience-building as well as creating an environment where employees feel comfortable to openly discuss their mental health concerns without fear of judgment or repercussions should be at the core of strategies aimed at positioning organisations to champion mental health of employees.
The World Health Organization describes mental health as a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in. Mental health is a basic human right, and it is crucial to personal, community and socio-economic development.
Mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders. It exists on a complex continuum, which is experienced differently from one person to the next, with varying degrees of difficulty and distress and potentially very different social and clinical outcomes.