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Fri, 06 Oct 2017 17:28 - Updated Fri, 06 Oct 2017 17:28

Angola: Ten percent of labour force suspends activity due to depression

Luanda - An estimated 10 percent of the world's employed population suspended their work due to depression.

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Regional director of WHO for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti

Photo: Francisco Miudo

The estimate is contained in a message released by WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.

This runs ahead of the World Mental Health Day set for 10 October: going under the motto "Mental health in the workplace".

According to her, an average of 36 working days are lost, whenever a worker is affected by this illness.

She mentioned symptoms such as difficulty in concentrating or making decisions as other causes leading to a sharp drop in productivity at work.

Matshidiso Moeti stresses that at least 50 percent of people with depression fail to receive treatment.

The WHO official mentioned the lack of information, stigma and cultural issues as the main hindrance in seeking help in Africa.

The official added that over the last 20 years the tendency to accept people with mental illness has not much improved.

After stressing the importance of the mental health in economic development and well-being of people, the official said that the loss of productivity due to absenteeism associated with mental health problems seems to increase.

According to her, work-related stress costs billions of dollars annually to the international community, in both direct and indirect costs.

The World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to engage in debate on mental health in the workplace with a view to promoting best practices, reduce negative behaviors and empower individuals, she added.

Dignity in mental health requires joint effort by all members of the society.

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