As the world recovers from the effects of the pandemic and faces geopolitical tensions and economic challenges, mental health has become a more significant issue.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15 percent of working-age adults suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives, and depression and anxiety cost the global economy US$1 trillion (RM4.65 trillion) annually, primarily as a result of lost productivity.
Considering that work contributes to mental wellbeing, WHO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have recently published a policy brief and guidelines on mental health at work.
Further, it is becoming increasingly apparent in Malaysia that employee mental health needs to be protected, with several organisations, like the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), calling for greater collaboration among stakeholders to address “alarming” mental health issues in the workplace.
Malaysia’s leading employer, Top Glove, values health from a holistic perspective to ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of its employees.
As a result, the Top Glove Global Doctors (TGGD) Mental Health Clinical and Crisis Support Team launched the Zero Harm on Mental Health Programme on 10 October 2021; in conjunction with World Mental Health Day.
This comprehensive safety and wellness action plan complements the existing Zero Harm and Safety Health Emergency Preparedness programme that was introduced by the Company in 2019.
The Managing Director of Top Glove, Mr. Lim Cheong Guan, states that the company has always been committed to its communities as well as its employees.
Top Glove strives to instil a healthy and productive mindset in all its employees. Our Zero Harm programmes are essential to ensuring the continued physical and mental wellbeing of our employees in line with the United Nations’ third Sustainable Development Goal,” says Mr. Lim.
There has been positive progress with the Zero Harm on Mental Health programme since its inception a year ago.
Since the beginning of year 2022, more than 2,000 Top Glove employees have participated in mental health related training and talks organised by the Company.
In addition, there has been an increase in the number of employees who have contacted TGGD’s Mental Health Counsellor, Ms. Cheryl Chin Yi Fen, who is also trained to provide counselling and psychotherapy for consultations, indicating that employees feel safe reaching out for help in an area that was historically perceived as taboo.
Top Glove has also worked closely with the Rapid Crisis Unit led by Ms. Chin and collaboratively managed by medical team at TGGD as well as Top Glove’s top management to mitigate instances of workplace bullying or harassment, enforcing a strict zero tolerance policy.
With this year’s World Mental Health Day theme ‘Make Mental Health And Wellbeing A Global Priority’, Top Glove is planning to host a series of seminars and programmes to promote holistic wellness and to train its employees to be health advocates within and outside of the workplace.