Today's Labour News

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Financial Mail writes that an economy in crisis, retrenchments, job insecurity, high unemployment and escalating crime are combining to cause depression and stress among many South Africans of working age.  

According to the SA Depression & Anxiety Group (Sadag), one in three South Africans suffer, or will suffer, from a mental illness at some point in their lifetime.  A study conducted by Sadag and others involving more than 1,000 employed or previously employed workers and managers, found that depression impairs employees’ intellectual functioning and productivity as a result of poor concentration, forgetfulness, indecisiveness, difficulties with problem-solving, slower thinking speed and negative or distorted thinking patterns, among others.  Workers with cognitive symptoms of depression, the study found, are more likely to take time off from work.  The study also found that more than 40% of illnesses were the result of work-related stress, depression, burnout or anxiety disorders and that companies were losing up to 16 days every year in productivity per employee because of that.  It was vital to examine how depression was managed in the workplace and what procedures were in place to ensure that affected employees were encouraged and supported to seek treatment, observed Sadag’s Cassey Chambers.  However, despite a global drive to remove the negative stigma around mental health, this has proved difficult in SA, with the result that many employees do not cite depression as a reason for absenteeism.  With social contributors to mental health on the increase in SA, demand for mental health care is likely to grow.  But, difficulty in accessing mental health care may be a barrier to care as SA has an abnormally constrained supply of psychiatrists and mental health practitioners.

  • Read the full original of the informative report in the above regard at BusinessLive

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