Thandeka Moyo, Health Reporter
ABOUT 10 percent of Zimbabwean workers take time off due to depression, a common mental disorder, statistics show.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines depression as a mental disorder, characterised by loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities. WHO says it is also the leading cause of disability in the world.
In a statement, Ministry of Health and Child Care said about 70 percent of people with mental illness actively conceal their condition from others, mainly because they fear discrimination when looking for a job.
“One in five people in the workplace experience a mental health condition and 10 percent of the employed population have taken time off work due to depression. An average of 36 workdays are lost per depression episode and half of those who suffer depression are untreated,” reads the statement.
According to the Ministry, depression in the workplace is caused by “lack of autonomy, reduced job resources, low job resources and low job satisfaction.”
“Many studies document high prevalence of stress in the workplace in the form of high workload and complexity, time pressures and work conflicts. Employers can appreciate workers and policies and practices that promote and support employee health wellness as part of the solution,” the statement added.
Recently, the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Aldrin Musiiwa, said Government was working to provide mental patients with drugs and the needed necessary services.