Prioritise mental health for a stronger workforce, employers in Malaysia told
With the productivity of employees dependent on their mental health, employees in Malaysia should prioritise mental health in the workplace, said Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Chairman of The Alliance for Safe Community, a non-profit NGO in Malaysia that focuses on enhancing health and safety awareness.
He added, “Employees should be provided with more opportunities for mental health awareness and education to better cope with work stress and psychosocial problems. Programmes or activities promoting mental health at the workplace should aim to create a mentally and physically healthier workforce which is more positive and productive,” reported the New Straits Times.
Neglecting mental health and psychosocial factors in the workplace does not just affect individual employees, but also the productivity and output of organisations, said Lee, who called on employers to provide help through counselling and psychological first aid, especially for employees who experience mental health disorders.
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Issues like employee performance, frequent illness, absenteeism due to health, accidents and employee turnover are all influenced by employees’ mental health status, he explained, and can affect stakeholders, customers, and the community around them. Mental health, he underscored, should no longer be overlooked, and must be prioritised by organisations.
“No workplace is immune to mental disorders, and their psychological, social, and economic impact is significant,” Lee cautioned.