Health & Wellbeing

Employee Mental Health: What the Survey Results Are Saying

What if I told you that the issue of workplace mental health, particularly in Ghana, is not entirely hopeless? I conducted a survey on workplace mental health last year and distributed it across my groups and on LinkedIn. I was surprised to find that the responses I was expecting to read were not at all negative.

Let’s dive straight into the results! If you are interested in reading into detail an earlier post I made based on personal research and experiences on Mental Health check it out here.

The gender mix of the respondents

OMT's Digest survey results

There were more females than males. It could be possible that my network has more women than men or evidence of men being men. Men are known to be less expressive of their emotions and experiences compared to women. It may not be as a reason of how we are built, but more of social constructs of the roles and responsibilities of the male and female gender.

Mental Health and productivity

OMT's Digest survey results

I might be wrong, but there is a greater probability that this 10% is from a male respondent. News Medical had a post on “The Gender Gap in Mental Health” and a few conclusions were reached. It was observed that:

  • There is a lower chance that men would consult a mental health expert,
  • Men and women experience symptoms differently; women are likely to experience internalised disorders and men on the other hand would experience externalised disorders, and
  • Current mental health views is based on the view that expressions of emotions are feminine characteristics and self-reliance and independence are masculine characteristics.

Responsibility for employee’s mental health

OMT's Digest survey results

I am in support of the 90% that believe that the responsibility lies with both the employer and the employee. To reiterate what I shared in my write-up, both parties share something in common; that is they are human! They both have roles to play in achieving a supportive and healthy workplace.

Workplace mental health policies

This is quite sad! 80% of the respondents answered ‘no’ to this. In my opinion, the starting place should be the awareness of the issues and a resolution of these issues through implementing approved policies. We talk about it, write it down, implement it and review it on an ongoing basis. It doesn’t necessarily have to be complex, the little things such as respect, trust and transparency can be the simple tools to create the positive change we need.

Workplace mental health policies

These were the policies indicated as being in effect by the 20% of employees whose workplaces had them:

  • Employee assistance program
  • Guidance and counseling unit to assist with a few things. (The respondent indicated however, that he/she did not have the full details)

It is at this point that I wished the survey was not anonymous to get more details into these policies. However, it’s still worthwhile because I wanted respondents to feel free to respond to the questions.

What can your employer do to support your mental health?

You can call this the recommendations section of the survey. I wanted to know from the respondents what they thought their employers could do to support their mental health. They responded and these were the feedback:

  • “Employ a psychologist for my department,”
  • “Have a licensed therapist at our disposal,”
  • “Rest, Unwinding and Rejuvenation should be encouraged,”
  • “Policies should be amended to show more empathy, diversion and inclusion,”
  • “Show attitude of care,” and
  • “Have talks or sessions with a counsellor.”

Employers and Managers supportive of employee’s mental health

Okay, so the excitedness I displayed in the introductory part of this post is because of this part of the survey. We always talk about issues but also fail to appreciate the progress and the positives. I wish I would get the opportunity to interview the identified employer and managers to highlight what they are doing to support mental health.

Be sure to tag the company and the individuals named in this post for their good work!

  • Newmont Ghana
  • Mr. Marvin Akyea
  • Revina Hanson-Richard

Are there any individuals or employers who should be applauded for being supportive of mental health in the workplace? Let’s appreciate them now.

Lots of love,