mental health

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Like their global counterparts, South African youth report high levels of mental health challenges arising from universal experiences such as the climate crisis, economic uncertainty, geopolitical instability and social media threats and pressures. Yet, there are also unique challenges affecting young people that are particularly rooted in South Africa’s socio-economic landscape.


In today’s fast-paced and often disrupted work environment, mental health and overall wellness can’t be avoided. It demands attention from employers and employees alike. Essentially, taking care of your own and your team members’ well-being means trying to help them stay in a toward state and switched on where they can function at their best (i.e., avoiding triggering the fight/flight/freeze response that put people in an away state and switch them off). 


Health economists estimate that unaddressed mental health conditions cost the South African economy R161 billion per year due to lost days of work, presenteeism (being at work but unwell), and premature mortality.

 


Final matric results can bring about relief for some but it can also be the catalyst for depression and suicide in others and relatives need to look out for warning signs. 


With the rise in technology, comes the risk of "brain rot" from over-exposure to the online world, for both children and adults. While it's easy to occupy a child with a YouTube video, there are long-term effects of this constant consumption of online content.


South Africans are largely considered to be resilient – we’ve weathered a pandemic, political instability, rampant unemployment, water issues and load shedding.


With endemic poverty, high unemployment, high crime rates and the prevalence of gender-based violence, South Africans have long been a chronically stressed nation.  Over the past few years, the global pandemic, economic downturn, climate crisis and geopolitical wars have only served to highlight the need to properly recognise the impact of poor, and worsening mental health on the country.


The academic year is drawing to a close and anticipation has set in, as learners across all grades await their results. However, because of the high levels of stress many learners will be experiencing, deaths by suicide tend to spike around this time of year.


There is a great link between employee wellbeing and productivity, but many companies do not take this aspect of the workplace environment seriously enough. 


At the beginning of 2022, South Africa’s 26 public universities were owed a collective R16,5 billion. While the consequences of student debt on universities have been contemplated, very seldom does the discourse centre on the students who owe this money.

 


After two years of Covid-19 lockdown, as employees shift from remote working back to office work, the challenge for business now is not only adapting to changes in technology and new modes of working, but to guard against a second pandemic of mental illness.


A recent study undertaken by IQbusiness in September 2021 found that more than 66% of office-based employees may be suffering from excessive stress, anxiety and depression. 


Coaching has firm foundations in psychology, especially where they intersect around mental well-being, behaviour change and optimising performance.  


The disruptions caused by the global pandemic over the past two years have fundamentally shifted our views, and our appreciation for what we can achieve in the online environment, especially when it comes to education. 


Sometimes we need a mental and physical break from our busy lives for the sake of our well-being. Taking breaks helps us recharge and refocus on what is important in life.


October 2021 is Mental Health Awareness Month, and according to the SA Society of Psychiatrists, “Mental health is the biggest threat in 2021.” When the global pandemic Covid-19 hit, it brought along the physical illness, coupled with increased mental health problems which naturally spilled over to the workplace.


There are numerous reasons why employees might lack performance. Reasons can include mental health and workplace wellness, or employees might purely lack skills that may impact their performance.

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