Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

One in five people will suffer from a mental health problem in their life, such as depression or anxiety, among others. With these statistics in mind, was held the October monthly meeting of the NGO Committee on Mental Health, an organization dedicated to partnering with the United Nations and other specialized agencies to ensure the proper inclusion of mental health-related issues in areas pertainaing to the UN agenda: human rights, erradication of poverty, environment protection, peace-building and promotion of psychosocial well-being.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the need and importance of promoting positive mental health in the workplace, an issue selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its annual campaign.

Among other issues, some of the participants in the meeting highlighted how artistic therapy can be used to help resolve work conflicts. New York University drama therapist Nisha Sajnani explained that the technique’s goal is to practice empathy and to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. However, she noted, this technique can only be successful provided that the people involved are willing and have the tools required to participate in this exercise. Later on, the specialist led an activity with the meeting participants, using improvisation and interpretation of social roles, to pave the way for discussions about experiences and the benefits of this type of therapy.

Xian Horn, an advocate of the rights of people with disabilities, carried out another intervention. The young woman, who has cerebral palsy, is both a teacher and a speaker. In her speech, she addressed the need to promote spaces for expression and contributions from people with disabilities and their proper inclusion in the workplace, including through improved accessibility.