Have A Break, Before You Burn Out
Business Today Malaysia|September 2018
Have A Break, Before You Burn Out

Impaired mental health in corporate executives can cost the global economy billions in poor performance and lost productivity. Darren Atkinson finds out more.

Darren Atkinson

Working conditions and environments can impact mental health which subsequently impacts their job performance. As a large proportion of our time is spent at work, our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall well being.

Stress at the workplace is expected but just how serious can it get? BT consults Consultant Psychiatrist Professor Dr. Philip George to explain.

Q: Is there a high percentage of workplace related mental health cases in Malaysia and how serious is it?

A 2013 online survey by Regus found 70% of Malaysian employees were afflicted with diseases which were caused by rising stress levels at work. Additionally, 33% of respondents worried about losing their jobs and 53% of respondents reported their family and friends have observed that they are stressed by work.

Q: What are the common work place-related mental health scenarios?

Typically, it starts with stress and frustration. They can also be caused by factors which are unrelated to work. There are also genetic factors, childhood experiences, relationship problems and others. Combined with work-related issues, they can impact mental health. If these conditions are not controlled, they can lead to depression and anxiety disorders or other medical conditions.

Depression and anxiety disorders can impact our ability to work productively.

Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.

Q: What are the types of the workplace related mental health cases you have seen?

Many of my clients are working and seek treatment but often without their employer knowing. They fear being dismissed if their mental illness is known to their employer even though they may suffer from a treatable condition.

Q: Can mental illnesses trigger or cause other illnesses or medical conditions?

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September 2018