Complex Made Simple

HKMC addresses health risks caused by occupational stress and preventative steps

First public lecture in 7th edition of SKMC Mental Health Awareness Program – 8 December

With the long work hours and busy lifestyle in the UAE, employees are at high risks of suffering serious illnesses caused by work-related stress, according to experts in Abu Dhabi.

In efforts to educate the community, and promote preventative measures to reduce stress-related illnesses, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), managed by the Cleveland Clinic, will be highlighting the health effects of work-related stress, and offering advice on how to effectively manage high occupational stress levels.

According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage it, with another 42% saying that their co-workers are also in need of help.

“Some stress levels can be positive by motivating people and encouraging them to work harder or react faster when required, whereas high levels of constant stress can become harmful. Then if are left untreated and get chronic, they will have negative impact on the productivity of employees and may lead to a number of illnesses, medical and psychological. In managing stress levels at work, it is important to acknowledge that it is a shared responsibility of both employer and employee,” said Dr. Mufeed Raoof, BSP Specialist Psychiatrist at SKMC, and International Member of the American Psychiatric Association.

While employers may be preoccupied with business objectives and revenues, they should understand that they will be held accountable for the wellbeing of their employees if illnesses are caused by work-related stress. It is also for their advantage that employees are not overstressed, as this will result in a more productive workforce. Similarly employees must take steps to ensure they are not overwhelmed with unnecessary stress levels caused by poor time management and a lack of communication.

Open to members of the public and medical professionals, the lecture will take place at 07:30 pm on Tuesday, 8 December 2015, in the Behavioural Sciences Pavilion (BSP) auditorium at SKMC.

The work-related stress lecture will mark the first event in the 7th edition of SKMC’s Mental Health Awareness Program comprising of a series of health talks in Arabic language every month on different topics related to mental health and social problems.

According to doctors at SKMC, stress can lead to a large number of serious health conditions including high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, diabetes, reduced immunity, and asthma.

Simple steps to reduce work-related stress levels include regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, communicating with superiors about unmanageable workloads, listing and prioritizing tasks, delegating work when possible, building a positive environment with healthy relationships and a clutter-free workspace, and accepting that perfection cannot be achieved every time.

SKMC is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA).

The Mental Health Awareness Program is organized by the BSP of SKMC, a comprehensive psychiatric facility committed to providing mental health treatment services in the UAE. The program consists of monthly public health talks about different topics related to mental health in the Arabic language. The talks are given by a panel of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists as well as social workers from the BSP. Each session includes a question and answer session to answer the attendees’ inquiries.