A big thank you to everyone who attended our recent Anxiety & Depression webinar

Thank you for attending our “What you don’t know about Anxiety and Depression” webinar on the 23rd July. We sincerely hope you found the webinar engaging, informative and practical.

The content from the presentation is now online and available to view below in full. Please also feel free to share this link with any of your friends, colleagues or family members, as we know many people may be suffering in silence and would welcome the support.

This was the first webinar that we’ve hosted at JW Seagon and it would be great to hear your feedback. If you have any comments or suggestions for future webinars – please email [email protected] with your ideas.

For those whose questions we couldn’t answer during the webinar, the responses to your questions are below.

Once again, thanks for attending and we’ll be in touch soon.

Regards

David

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Webinar Q&A

Are there any statistics which show how many work days are lost a year through stress related illnesses in Kenya

  • We do have this information for other countries and it would be possible to extrapolate and estimate for Kenya.  For example: EU countries lose Euros 136 billion annually from stress related loss of productivity and illness, and in the US, this rises to between $200 and $300 billion annually when you include productivity loss, staff turnover and compensation claims.

What easy steps can an employer can take to help reduce stress in the workplace.

  • Focus on the internal culture of the workplace. This includes the environment (physical and social) as well as how people relate to one another, how people are motivated, rewarded and the style of communication.

Could you touch on the chemical implications of anxiety and depression in the brain, as well as the effectiveness of behavioural changes vs medication on influencing those chemicals

  • There is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of medication versus behavioural therapy interventions. About ⅓ of people respond to antidepressants because of the chemical composition and about another ⅓ respond because of placebo effect, the remaining one third don’t respond.  However, drugs on their own are not a long term solution.  Most depression and anxiety come from events, relationships and beliefs which can’t be dealt with from medication.

What is the correlation between stress/anxiety and how manifests in the body?

  • When we are anxious our body goes into a ‘stress response’ to help us deal with the thing that has made us anxious. We were designed at a time when the stressors were more visible (fire, flood, famine, fighting).  So we needed physical strength for fight or flight.  So stress hormones in the body give us the ability to run or fight.  They should be short term because they have an impact on our BP, heart rate, digestive system etc.  So if you are stressed every day because you are anxious about something at work or home then you will be doing damage to your body.  95% of all illness has stress as a risk factor.

How can we evaluate or tell the difference between the normal anxiety and high functionality depression…. what can we look out for?

  • Normal anxiety is normal – no need to look out for it! High anxiety is when someone is ‘second-guessing’, can’t make decisions, is paralysed with fear.  High Functioning depressions is harder to spot – a person may be performing but they are not happy, there is ‘no light’ in their eyes, they don’t laugh, they withdraw from social situations, they may be irritable or angry.

How does Occupational Safety and Health Care matter? On the case of Stress (Clarification)

  • All employers have a duty of care. In terms of Occ Safety and Health it is important to check that the work environment stress is reduced for example – is there too much noise? Extreme of temperature? No access to natural light – all these things will increase stress in addition to issues of how people behave and the internal culture.

What does one need in a working environment with lots of pressure so as not to fall into depression?

  • Take regular breaks. Make sure you have time each day without being contactable – even if it is just 10 mins.  There needs to be a bit of each day when you switch off. You need to get outside.  Get the basics right – sleep, exercise, mindfulness.

Signs and symptoms that your work is affecting your mental health?

  • Getting sick; feeling sad or anxious on a Sunday when you think about work. Not enjoying your work any more.  Waking at night or struggling to sleep because you are thinking about work.

Does having enough sleep contribute to lowering levels of anxiety?

  • Absolutely! If you have less than 7 hours of sleep a night you are much more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.