UBA Foundation has begun sensitising staff and customers on mental health in its week-long event which began with a panel session on wellness at the Workplace.
With over 19% of adults battling with their mental health every year coupled with fear of stigmatisation from speaking out, the foundation, which is the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, seeks to address the challenges that individuals are facing and how it has now become important to create consciousness and prioritise the general well-being of employees and clients.
Delivering a goodwill message at the event, UBA’s group managing director Kennedy Uzoka stressed the need for more organisations to ensure that the mental health of their staff and families are taken more seriously.
He said, “UBA has always engaged in a lot of ground-breaking initiatives and the issue of mental health is important to us. We have found that people do not want to talk about mental health because they think it is bad, but the truth is that you can only get good productive people when challenges like these are addressed and I am so happy that this has commenced here.”
The panel was moderated by the managing director/chief executive officer, UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, who spoke about UBA’s goal to remain the best place to work. She noted that the bank is addressing these issues and championing the narrative that says that mental health issues should not be swept under the carpet.
“We want to create a workplace environment where people feel comfortable and encouraged to seek help when necessary, so that they can give the best of themselves in their respective roles. We hope to stomp out the stigma that keeps people suffering in silence and bridge the gap between mental health inclusivity, support and recovery in Africa,” Atta, who is also UBA’s spokesperson, explained.
The panellists included UBA’s group head, human resources, Patricia Aderibigbe; consultant clinical psychologist, BTH Therapy, Chris Abojei; co-founder of Africa’s Health Matters Foundation, Vanessa Adebayo; and Angel Yinkore.
Atta announced the partnership with UBA Foundation and Inside Out as part of the week-long activities to shine some light on mental health. Inside Out aims at teaching youths to channel their feelings through art expression and photography. She added that staff members would be able to benefit from free therapy sessions from BHT Therapy and many wellness giveaways such as spa and fitness vouchers.
Another major highlight of the week will be an intimate discussion with the founder, Genevieve Magazine, Betty Irabor, on Thursday, November 11 where she will share insights around her personal journey and the realities of balancing life, family, and mental health.