The Psychiatric Hospital launched its health and wellness programme at their Black Rock, St Michael institution this morning. The aim of the programme is to reduce absenteeism in the psychiatric hospital and curb the rising trend of non-communicable diseases.
Senior Health Promotion Officer Denise Carter-Taylor made the assertion in her featured address where she said that the lone hospital for psychiatric care had an unacceptably high level of absenteeism due to sick leave.
“So far for 2018, the hospital has recorded an average of 483 absent days among all categories of staff due to sick leave,” Carter-Taylor said, adding that urgent action is also needed to curb the influx of chronic non-communicable diseases.
“According to the recent Health of the Nation Survey, a quarter of the adult population in Barbados has chronic non-communicable disease, and this figure is expected to increase to one third by 2030. This emphasizes that urgent action is needed to preempt a national health crisis, which is due mainly to lifestyle choices,” she stressed.
She added that efforts such as the Health and Wellness Programme, which is being offered at the Black Rock institution, can reduce those trends and impact on the overall national trajectory.
“This programme aims to offer innumerable benefits such as a reduction in sick leave and absent days, increased employee involvement and engagement, improved fitness level and [to] foster employee morale,” Carter-Taylor said.
She also highlighted that stress impacts on the productivity of employees.
“It cannot be ignored that stress is one of the main contributing factors for the development of non-communicable diseases and can also be linked to high levels of absenteeism,” she remarked.
Using a report by the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health she pointed out that “40 per cent of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful; 25 per cent view their job as the number one stressor in their lives; three-fourths of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago; 26 per cent of workers said that they were ‘often or very often burned out or stressed by their work’, and job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.”
Both patients and staff of the hospital enjoyed the Health and Wellness Day as they learned about their diets from Community Nutrition Officer, Marianne Burnham and received free blood pressure and blood sugar checks from qualified nursing assistants of the Psychiatric Hospital. (LG)