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Mental health issues at work place
Issue of Mental health at our work place
DR Shakya, Department of Psychiatry
BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan
A significant part of a day and entire life
of an individual of this era is spent in his/
her work place, station or field.1 There are
factors in particular office, workplace or
field which exert protective effect to the
holistic health of the related stakeholders
and empower them. Similarly, there may
be some risk factors leading to ill health,
lost peace and failure in life. These factors
not only affect body, but also mind and
brain, mental direction, psychological state
and mental health as a whole. The
circumstances, environment and
exchanges in the work place interact not
only psycho-socially, but also biologically
in a complex way, either to protect or risk
an individual from ill health. Mental
illness affects a significant proportion of
any population2 but many of them remain
undetected and unattended.3
The morbidity, disability and mortality due
to suicide and neglect of overall health
because of psychiatric illness remain high.
The unattended/ untreated illness also
results in reduced working capacity and
skills, decline in economical status and
overall productivity. The cost incurred due
to chronic illness also contributes to
economic drop. Mental disorder spares
none of us; staff, workers, teachers,
students, farmers, managers, leaders,
policy makers and all. It affects though in
some varying proportions depending on
the risk and protective factors within and
around us, including those in our
workplace. Hence, there is a need for an
employee, employer, manager and
organization to closely observe this
interaction. Are we conscious and
concerned enough about this issue? Here,
we intend to raise and draw attention of
related stakeholders towards this often
forgotten (in our context) but important
Our institute, B. P. Koirala Institute of
Health Sciences (BPKIHS) was
established on Jan 18, 1993 with main
objective of developing socially
responsible and competent health
workforce, providing health care and
involving in innovative health research.4
This has been work place directly to a total
of 1648 staff including faculty, other
teachers, administrative and other staff
(1008 on permanent, 99 performance, 541
contract basis) and an educational centre
for a total of 1598 students of various
programs and levels in this academic year
Address for correspondence
Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya, MD
Department of Psychiatry
BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan
Shakya DR
Issue of mental health at our work place
JBPKIHS 2018; 1(1):1-4
of 2017/18 AD (BPKIHS, December
2017).5 These stakeholders; not only the
buildings, roads, lands here are the basis of
the direction of, move towards, progress
and achievement of these objectives. Only
with this complementing appreciation and
accordingly the behavior among the
stakeholders (authority, staff, workers,
teachers, students), we will be able to
achieve the goal.
Medical and education fields, both are
sensitive and stressful. Now, it is high time
to look into our local contexts,
circumstances and stressor status of both
medical and non-medical staff of this
institute. We, as a part of this institute,
leading in the country should strive to set
an example in the direction of mental
health friendly work place. For this need
of the era, let‟s unite and work step by
First thing, we need to start in this
direction, is the information and data
regarding overall health status including
mental disorder and stressor, health
indicators, local contexts and
circumstances, risk and protective factors.
Realistic analysis, sincere approach and
appropriate management are as equally
important as timely increment of salary for
the rise of happiness index and quality of
life here. Time has come now for all the
related sides; the institute, authority,
teachers, staff and students to take their
respective role of resource mobilization,
coordination, research conduction and
participation for generation of such
operational research data.
Second equally important component is
mental health friendly policy and plans.
Whole country is involved these days in
writing and revising the Constitution of
Nepal. Let‟s not forget that only with
mental peace and health of its
stakeholders, we will be able to move this
institute forward.
It is not only important to bear respective
role at institute level, but also at individual
level. Lets we teachers, health
professionals, staff, students, all service
providers introspect ourselves whether we
have open and healthy communication,
respectful and civilized manners,
empathetic and supportive behaviors
among ourselves and with service users.1
Are we encouraging behaviors or cultures
inviting ill health, like rampant use of
alcohol, cannabis or displaying wasteful
expenses in parties and celebrations? Are
we secluding ourselves and our children
sparing from our healthy cultures,
Shakya DR
Issue of mental health at our work place
JBPKIHS 2018; 1(1):1-4
festivals, occasions and traditions, and
indiscriminately indulging in internet and
social media in the name of modernity and
No one from outside will bother whether
our working environment, residential
settings and places are safe (e.g. humps
with no coloring and adequate light),
healthy, peaceful; free from pollution
(noise, air, water, soil) or having adequate
lighting and comfortable temperature etc.
and free from or with minimum of
occupational hazards. There is no
alternative to our own sincere concern.
We have enough evidences indicating that
many and many people are affected by
mental agony, ailments and stress. We are
not the exception.2,3 But, are we well
informed, aware, alert and concerned
about this? Let‟s consider and accept this
fact and develop positive attitude. We need
regular awareness raising programs for all
stakeholders. Let‟s review whether we
have a mechanism, process and unit to
ensure that our needy people (with stress,
problem, issue or disorder) are
appropriately heard, attended and helped.
Are we adopting compatible view to our
colleagues in our own work place
struggling or recuperating from stress and
mental illness?
Continuous review is required regarding
whether our departments, units and offices
are compatible to the interest, skill,
subjects, training, post/ designation of its
staff. Transparent review on the equitable
distribution and provision of opportunity
for training, education and career
development is paramount for both
individual and academic organization. At
organizational levels, let‟s consider
whether our work place, burden and
schedules are overburdened and stressful
or whether less stimulating, too boring or
too leisurely. At individual level, let‟s be
watchful whether any of us are displaying
warning signs of stress, ill health or mental
disorder. Let‟s help each other and
facilitate seek help from the expert. It‟s the
high time now to think sincerely about
mental health at workplace.6 May we not
be left behind!
The intention of raising this issue here in
this journal is to support brain storming,
introspection, reflection, and motivation
for clear direction, expression and
execution of mental health friendly
workplace philosophy.
Shakya DR
Issue of mental health at our work place
JBPKIHS 2018; 1(1):1-4
1. Gray P. Mental health in Workplace.
Mental Health Foundation, Victoria
Street, London, UK. 1999. P. 1.
2. Murray CL, Lopez AD. The Global
Burden of Disease: a Comprehensive
Assessment of Mortality and Disability
from Diseases, Injuries, and Risk
Factors in 1990 and Projected.
Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University
Press; 1996.
3. Wang PS, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Alonso
J, et al. Use of mental health services
for anxiety, mood, and substance
disorders in 17 countries in the WHO
world mental health surveys. Lancet.
2007; 370: 841-50.
4. B. P. Koirala Institute of Health
Sciences. Available at-,
Accessed at December 24, 2017.
5. B. P. Koirala Institute of Health
Sciences. Annual Report 2016-17 and
Plan of Action 2017-18. BPKIHS,
Dharan, Nepal. 2017.
6. World Health Organization. World
Mental Health Day 2017. Available at-
mental-health-day/2017/en/. Accessed
at September 11, 2017.
... At the same time, they should ensure continuous quality critical and lifesaving preventive and curative health services like maternal and child care, geriatrics, etc. They should also ensure physical and psychosocial health of the service providers [21]. ...
... At the same time, they should ensure continuous quality critical and lifesaving preventive and curative health services like maternal and child care, geriatrics, etc. They should also ensure physical and psychosocial health of the service providers [21]. ...
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Rapid spread of COVID-19 infection reached Nepal in about 1 month of its first appearance in China in December 2019 and affected all spheres of life and society including health and education, like in other countries. We are unprepared for this new menace with many unknown facts and uncertainties when well developed set ups with advanced science and technology also seemed drowned. We attempt here to appraise our situation (condition, trend) and reflect on to the lessons (observations, and messages) that we draw in various major areas of the activities of B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences. We become acutely aware about the adverse effects of this pandemic in its academic, service and research activities along with all other aspects. Amidst the challenges, we were forced to take steps in scattered and trial and error pattern. This pandemic has brought our deficiencies in health system into surface and is offering opportunity to review, revise and reform them. We all the stakeholders, i.e. students, patients, clients, teachers, faculties, staff and authorities are in the same boat; all need to be in healthy, balanced and functional state for fruitful travel. We have certain weaknesses, drawbacks, deficits; and some strengths that we now should realize to move ahead in this COVID era.
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J BPKIHS: Journal of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences: A Peer Reviewed Official Bio-Medical publication of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences: Summary of First Editorial Board (2017-2020) Activities
Full-text available
Mental disorders are major causes of disability worldwide, including in the low-income and middle-income countries least able to bear such burdens. We describe mental health care in 17 countries participating in the WHO world mental health (WMH) survey initiative and examine unmet needs for treatment. Face-to-face household surveys were undertaken with 84,850 community adult respondents in low-income or middle-income (Colombia, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, China, South Africa, Ukraine) and high-income countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, USA). Prevalence and severity of mental disorders over 12 months, and mental health service use, were assessed with the WMH composite international diagnostic interview. Logistic regression analysis was used to study sociodemographic predictors of receiving any 12-month services. The number of respondents using any 12-month mental health services (57 [2%; Nigeria] to 1477 [18%; USA]) was generally lower in developing than in developed countries, and the proportion receiving services tended to correspond to countries' percentages of gross domestic product spent on health care. Although seriousness of disorder was related to service use, only five (11%; China) to 46 (61%; Belgium) of patients with severe disorders received any care in the previous year. General medical sectors were the largest sources of mental health services. For respondents initiating treatments, 152 (70%; Germany) to 129 (95%; Italy) received any follow-up care, and one (10%; Nigeria) to 113 (42%; France) received treatments meeting minimum standards for adequacy. Patients who were male, married, less-educated, and at the extremes of age or income were treated less. Unmet needs for mental health treatment are pervasive and especially concerning in less-developed countries. Alleviation of these unmet needs will require expansion and optimum allocation of treatment resources.