Prioritizing Mental Health Awareness: Improving Workplace and General Wellness

Mental health education has become increasingly important to overall wellness in recent years. There is a rising knowledge of the need to prioritize mental health in all aspects of life, including the Workplace, and its effects on people’s lives and society. It has caused the emphasis to change from focusing primarily on physical health to one that is more comprehensive and includes mental well-being.

This article emphasizes mental health awareness to improve workplace wellness and general well-being. It discusses the effects of mental health problems at work, the advantages of encouraging mental wellness, and doable steps to foster a supportive work environment. Additionally, it highlights the need to raise mental health awareness outside of the Workplace and recognize mental health’s wider influence on people’s lives. It hopes to motivate people, employers, and society to take proactive measures to create a healthier and more inclusive world by highlighting the need for group efforts to prioritize mental health. It implores the government, companies, and other parties to act immediately to promote favorable and mentally healthy work conditions throughout Kenya.

Effects Of Mental Health Problems at Work

In the Workplace, the effects of mental health issues can be significant for individuals and organizations. Many workers in Kenya experience substantial stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues at work. Workplace disputes, heavy workloads, long hours, a lack of knowledge and understanding of mental health, and inadequate support networks contribute to the problem’s growth. It leads to the following effects:

Reduced productivity: Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or stress can cause a decline in energy, motivation, and focus. This can ultimately lead to a decline in production. A person could struggle to concentrate on work, have problems making decisions, or miss deadlines.

Increased absenteeism and presenteeism: People with mental health issues may take more time off from work or sick days to treat their symptoms, which can increase absenteeism. Additionally, even if they are physically present at work, people who battle with mental health may nevertheless exhibit presenteeism, in which they are less engaged or effective than usual because of their difficulties.

Poor work relationships: Mental health issues might negatively impact Interpersonal interactions at work. People could retreat, get cranky, or find it difficult to communicate with others at work, which could strain relationships and cause problems. This might harm productivity and prevent productive cooperation.

Increased workplace accidents and mistakes: People struggling with mental health issues may struggle to concentrate and make wise decisions. This can make workplace mishaps, mistakes, or bad decisions more likely, especially in jobs requiring a lot of concentration or attention to detail.

Increased turnover rates: Staff members struggling with mental health difficulties may be more inclined to consider quitting their positions or have greater turnover rates. This may result from things like burnout, unhappiness, or a lack of assistance and accommodations from the company.

Costs to the organization financially: Organizations may be affected financially by mental health issues. Higher recruiting and training expenditures may result from increased presenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover. Errors and lower productivity can also lead to diminished effectiveness and possible financial losses.

Influence on general well-being: Mental health issues can significantly affect a person’s well-being. Stress and pressure at work may worsen pre-existing mental health issues or promote the emergence of new ones. An individual’s personal life, interpersonal connections, and general quality of life may be impacted.

Because of these, treating mental health issues in the Workplace becomes crucial for employee well-being and organizations’ long-term viability and profitability. Employers and organizations must be accountable for the mental health of their staff members.

Advantages of Encouraging Mental Wellness

Promoting mental well-being has many benefits for people, communities, and society. These include

  • enhanced general well-being
  • Improved performance and productivity,
  • better physical health results
  • improved long-term outcomes
  • strengthened relationships
  • decreased stigma and raised awareness
  • heightened resilience in the face of adversity
  • financial advantages

Steps to Foster Mental Wellness

Establishing a culture that encourages open communication, lessens stigma, and offers options for employees to seek assistance when necessary, will improve mental health awareness and support in the Workplace.

Employers may significantly influence the environment by putting policies and activities that value mental health into place. This involves providing access to counseling services, giving benefits for mental health, and planning educational programs to raise awareness and comprehension of mental health concerns.

Kenya’s government and companies may also address the following crucial issues to encourage mental health awareness and support in the Workplace.

  1. There should be an introduction of “The Health and Safety at Work Act” by the Senate and the Parliament. Employers would have a legal obligation to protect their employees’ physical and mental health under this law, as well as their safety.
  2. They should launch the “Thriving at Work initiative” by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. This will give companies detailed instructions and suggestions for encouraging workplace mental wellness.
  3. Kenya’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour and Social Protection should take proactive steps to give employees’ mental health and well-being a top priority by creating detailed guidelines and policies, educating the public through campaigns and training programs, working with organizations that focus on mental health, and setting up reporting and support systems.
  4. Organizations would also be encouraged to address the causes of workplace stress and mental health problems if there were a “National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety” in the Workplace. Therefore, the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the Ministries of Labor and Social Protection, the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), and the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), should develop a framework for employers to measure and enhance psychological well-being in the Workplace.
  5. The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection should emphasize work-life balance and the reduction of work-related stress. They should ensure companies conduct risk analyses, offer stress management training, and support programs encouraging work-life balance and general well-being.
  6. The Ministry of Health and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) should collaborate to create public awareness programs to reduce stigma around mental health conditions and foster an environment of understanding and empathy at work.


It is crucial to prioritize mental health awareness to enhance workplace wellness and general well-being. With the above detail, individuals, companies, and society can help create a world that is healthier, more compassionate, and inclusive by acting proactively to promote mental health.

Young Frontiers
The Young Frontiers
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