Feb 18, 2021 | Workplace

There has been a great of talk about mental health and illness since the covid pandemic struck our shores a year ago. This is a good thing in that attention towards this very important field of medicine has been seriously lacking in South Africa up to now. It seems to have always been a topic that employers, and indeed employees as well, have steered well clear of for a variety reasons, not least of which is the stigma. This cannot continue – many people are suffering in silence and, as extreme as it sounds, even taking their own lives out of sheer desperation. Yes, mental illness can definitely be fatal.

There still seems to be a general thinking that depression and anxiety disorders are nothing more than normal ranges of human emotions. To this, I would say that having a bruise on your leg is very different to having a shattered bone – equally, feeling a bit down in the dumps is very different to suffering from clinical depression. How often I have I heard it said by a manager, “But I don’t understand… I also feel down sometimes.” It’s not the same thing folks.

When it comes to other medical and physical conditions, such as cancer or paraplegia, employers and managers generally find these employees easy to understand and, in turn, easy to manage. Flexible working hours allows them to attend chemotherapy, and ramps are built to allow them access to the building – all rather glaringly obvious and straight forward accommodations. To not implement such accommodations would, of course, be totally unreasonable and unfair to the employee… agreed? But what about the employee who is depressed, or who suffers from debilitating anxiety, or who has bipolar or post-traumatic stress disorder? Not so easy, agreed?

If you would like to learn and understand more about the most common types of mental illness, ranging from stress and anxiety to psychotic breakdowns, and how best to manage your employees with these conditions, as well as their colleagues, sign up for this full day in-house workshop or 6 hour webinar on Understanding and Managing Mental Illness in the Workplace – or, as referred to by some of our clients, Mental Illness 101 for people with no medical training!

Facilitated by myself, Lesley Burns, an Occupational Therapist with more than 30 years of experience in the field of mental health/illness, and explained in words that you will understand, we promise you will leave wondering why you ever considered not attending. So confident are we in this that if you are the first ever person to leave feeling otherwise, we will give you a full refund. So, what have you got to lose?

The contents of the workshop/webinar include the following:
1. Defining, diagnosing and treating mental illness.
2. The difference between mental & neurological illness.
3. The “Big 5” types of mental illness most likely to be seen in modern day workplaces.
4. What are Personality Disorders?
5. The Stigma and how to reduce it at work.
6. The ultimate cost of unmanaged mental illness.
7. Difference between real and fake mental illness.
8. Assessing capacity for work / Basic functioning enabling a person to work – guidelines for HR Professionals and Management.
9. Reasonable accommodation.
10. Person management.
11. Workplace management.
12. Case studies.
To book at a date convenient to you and discuss costing, please contact me at +27 11 646 9649 or drop her an email at tmlb@absamail.co.za.

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