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Workplaces should have employee assistance programmes, NIOSH’s chairman stresses

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Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Chairman of Malaysia’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), has suggested that workplaces should adopt an employee assistance programme (EAP), Bernama reported.

Speaking at the 34th Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organisation conference and annual general meeting in Guiyang, China, Tan Sri Lee said this programme should be introduced to provide both prevention and early intervention measures targeted at employees who face stress, or emotional and mental health issues.

Further, he said workplaces should increase the education and promotion of mental health as this could help “address the rise of psychosocial problems in society”.

In line with that, he stressed that if no such EAP is in place, employees who are suffering from such instances may not be identified or given help, which could eventually jeopardise their work performance.

“It is most essential in view of our aspiration to achieve a developed nation status which obviously will exert tremendous pressure to deal with our daily responsibilities.”

He also added that every stakeholder has to treat mental health the same way other health concerns are addressed today. “Whether it’s increasing or decreasing, it’s worth our attention for every person to get the care they need including at workplaces.”

Lastly, he said that Malaysia would be also highlighting mental health issues at next year’s edition of the conference held in Kuala Lumpur.

Photo / 123RF

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