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Prioritize mental health!

I daresay that, no workplace can reasonably survive and thrive if the mental health of the people within that space is continuously compromised. Which begs the question ladies and gentlemen, are you prioritizing your mental health? Contrary to popular belief, mental health and wellness are not the exclusive preserve of the so-called ‘higher-ups’ and societal one-percenters, for the simple fact that mental health is a subset of overall health. Therefore, if this component of your personal wellbeing is not in sync with your physical, social, financial, spiritual and emotional health, then, you are likely less healthful and productive than you might want to publicly acknowledge.

Earlier this week, specifically on October 10, the countries of the Caribbean, and indeed the international community observed World Mental Health Day. This day is meant to annually commemorate the global thrust toward reducing (and ending) the fear and stigmatization surrounding mental health, while equally promoting mental health as a vital aspect of general health and wellness. Think that mental health doesn’t relate to you or everyday situations? That it only relates to how much vacation time you can enjoy or your level of sanity (or corresponding lack of dementia)? Well, I beg you to kindly reconsider your position.

Think about the individual who has to daily/monthly find the means of obliging bill payments for basic utilities and also supporting their dependents- young and/or elderly by providing meals, food, clothing and shelter. Now, if he/she is a motorist, they would now have to find extra money to purchase fuel, by taking from money allotted to another expense. Plus, they likely have to sit for hours in traffic to commute to and/or from school.

Conversely, even if that person doesn’t own a vehicle, they must rise long before the sun, and still have to jostle with other members of the travelling public and discourteous taxi-drivers, just to get to school/work... and back again when the day is done.

Note that these scenarios haven’t even begun to elaborate on current workplace stressors, including personality clashes, meeting tight, simultaneous (and sometimes, unreasonable) deadlines, in-person and cyber-meetings and trainings to attend, telephone calls to make and respond to, etc. Then, consider the persons who face ostracization, isolation, victimization and manipulation on the job. Likewise, consider those persons who might suffer with ailments, including high blood pressure, ulcers, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer and heart disease...

Some of them might have received their salaries late, some might have had theirs suspended, some might not receive their due wages. Then, there are some who have would have retired, and are still awaiting the first payment of their pension/insurance gratuity/national insurance.

Sadly, some resort to drugs to ease their frustration and subsequently become addicts, destroying themselves and their families in the process. Others might commit suicide or attempt it. Yet, town still sayin’ mental health is “nutten’ big to worry ‘bout”, right?

No! Mental health matters. Prioritize it daily!

Keywords: LinkedIn Local Caribbean, mental health, stigmatization, wellness, workplace

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