Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

BusinessLive writes that the Life Esidimeni tragedy spotlighted the imperative of improving mental health services in SA, but little help is available for the country’s biggest mental health problem, namely the anxiety caused by unemployment.  

An estimated 17-million South Africans suffer from common mental health problems and unemployment has a significant impact on mental health.  As retrenchments and corporate restructuring continue unabated, many people are struggling with trauma, stress and anxiety.  Depression is at a record high.  HR consultants and facilitators hired to support retrenched employees describe a compassionless world and an increasing need for psychological services.  Retrenchments and restructuring are often brutal processes with little regard for the impact on employees.  Yet, Prof Steven Friedman of the University of Johannesburg believes the sterile debate about job creation must change.  "If you create an expectation that the only way people can earn a dignified living is in the formal sector, then obviously there is a huge amount of disappointment and the effects which the psychologists describe," Friedman noted.  A new mind-set about the meaning of unemployment could have a positive spin-off for mental health.  Instead of sweeping street traders off the streets, there should be deregulation. Informal traders should be connected to the private and public sectors to get the resources they need, according to Friedman.

  • Read this article by Melody Emmett in full at BusinessLive

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