Mental health in the workplace directly affects the competitiveness of an organization, according to the head of the Association for the Improvement of the Work Environment and the organizational psychological counselor, Dina Ahmed Al-Waheeb. In a press statement, she called on the new government to implement the mental health policy in the work environment, as well as consistently address and respond to the matter, adding that not focusing on mental health issues will cost the government huge financial loss.

Al-Waheeb emphasized that according to the report of the International Gallup Organization, the data shows 81% of employees do not feel a job affiliation while 50% wish to change their jobs. She said that the health crisis has pushed world governments to develop and carry out innovative policies that can improve employees’ mental health, adding that a series of initiatives in the Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia recognize mental health as an essential part of the quality of life program developed under the umbrella of the 2030 strategy.

She stressed that Kuwait’s government needs measures to create a mentally resilient workforce, and aim to change the workplace culture to be more proactive with regard to mental health, as well as break down the stigma surrounding mental illness in many corporate cultures. She added that many people will benefit when state officials change their views on work-related mental health issues and the way they are tackled.

Al-Waheeb said that the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development recommended that high-income countries spend at least 10% of their health budgets on mental health, while middle and low-income countries should target at least 5%, stressing in this regard that “good intentions are not enough for a government that seeks to promote and sustain the mental health and well-being of its citizens as the key to success is informed policy making”.

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