When it comes to mental wellness, it’s pretty clear that South African workers could use some help. While it’s difficult to get precise figures on how many South Africans suffer from work-induced mental health issues, it’s worth noting that nearly a third will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime.
Quite aside from the human tragedy that mental illness can present, it also comes with a heavy monetary cost. It’s estimated that work-related stress and major depression, burnout and anxiety disorders cost the country’s economy around R40-billion a year.
While the scale of the problem might seem insurmountable, a number of companies are working on helping businesses improve their employees’ mental health.
Here are a few of them.
Founded by Dr Annemarie Lombard, Sensory Intelligence aims to use the latest insights of how the human brain processes sensory messages to make for happier and more productive workplaces.
This, it says, promotes self-understanding and assists individuals to increase their performance, concentration and incorporate wellness strategies to be more healthy and balanced.
At present, Sensory Intelligence offers its services to call centres, corporates, and in education where it works with parents and teachers.
Welcome Wellness is a corporate wellness company which strives to help people manage their stress through wellness education and physical therapies.
That might make it seem like it doesn’t take a strong interest in mental health, digging a little deeper shows that it clearly is.
Take a look at its description of wellness for instance:
Wellness is a state of well-being. A state of acceptance or satisfaction with our present condition being healthy and disease free mentally and physically, as well as functioning socially. It is considered to be an active process of becoming aware of and learning to make healthy choices. These choices lead us toward a longer, happier, more productive and healthier life.
Welcome Wellness offers continued wellness education programmes, wellness workshops, wellness days, onsite massages, and onsite fitness classes.
Admittedly the SA Federation of Mental Health (SAFMH) isn’t really a company, but it does a lot of important work when it comes to workplace mental wellness.
According to the federation’s website, it offers presentations and workshops on mental health in the workplace and can assist your companies in developing strategies towards improving the mental health of employees as well as towards the reasonable accommodation of persons with mental illness in the workplace.
OCSA is one of South Africa’s oldest corporate wellness providers, having been in the business for 22 years.
While it is an all-round wellness provider rather than a mental healthcare specialist, its offerings do include psychosocial services in the form of a 24-hour call centre service, staffed by trained counsellors. The service provides support for the emotional and psycho-social needs of employees.
It also conducts psychological and physical assessments for corporate employees to assist with their health and wellness needs.
Operating out of Sandton, Johannesburg, the Psychology and Wellness Centre (PAWC) is a whole-body therapy centre, with occupational therapists, psychiatrists, dieticians, and physios all available.
In the corporate wellness space, it offers life coaching, a wide array of psychological services including retrenchment and retirement counselling, trauma support, career assessments, and team building.
It also sees an important link between occupational therapy and mental wellbeing in the workplace. It therefore offers corporates the chance to assist their employees with things like goal setting, time management, and achieving a balanced lifestyle.
Do you know of any other companies we should include on the list? Please let us know in the comments section below.