Mental health experts have alerted that unhealthy environment, poor working policies and bullying are driving up the risks of mental disorders among Nigerian employees.
According to the experts, while anybody can be at risk of mental disorders, peculiarities in the Nigerian workplace may be increasing the risk of mental health problems.
Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, a consultant psychiatrist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Dr. Olayinka Atilola said the high unemployment rate in Nigeria has made employers of labour create an unhealthy working environment for employees.
“If many people are applying for a particular work, employers will not likely pay attention to the quality of the work environment.”
“Also, a lot of Nigerians are employed in what we call precarious employment and many employees work overtime and beyond the standard regulation time,” Atilola said.
Atilola, who is also a mental health expert in the workplace noted that lack of mental health policy and bullying contribute to the increased risk of mental health disorders among Nigeria workers.
“Most workplaces in Nigeria do not have an employee mental health policy that guides operations. So, the only thing they are concerned about is physical health and many hospitals may not have services for mental health conditions.”
“Also, bullying or demands for sexual favours contribute to the increased risks of mental health disorders. These usually happen in an environment where the regulatory framework for employment is not sound.”
“We know for a fact that mental health problems are becoming more common among Nigerians. The prevalent rate of common mental health problems has increased and it can be said that the risk of mental health problems in the workplace too would have increased.”
A recent study conducted in Nigeria by WellNewMe and Dennis Ashley Medical Clinic confirmed the effect of poor working environment on mental the health of employees.