in the Workplace

Edited by Navlika Ratangee
Foreword by Bonang Mohale

About the Book

This book has been put together by experts in the field of mental health, and associated fields, whom have been carefully chosen to share their insights on a specific knowledge area with you. A golden thread that runs through all these chapters is that each and every contributor is passionate about what they do, and in so doing passionate in sharing their knowledge and experience with you in their unique way. We hope that you find this not only useful in its learnings and application but also refreshing and inspirational. There is much to be done in the field of mental health.

The context of this book is mental health and its relation to the workplace. For ease of reference, it has been separated into 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Mental health in the workplace: Understanding the current context and what has given rise to this increasing concern
  • Part 2: Mental health is not an island: Wellbeing is holistic and has multiple dimensions
  • Part 3: Coping mechanisms: Towards a way forward with mental health

The pandemic has changed our lives from what we once knew it to be. The book starts off with a positioning of the current context and why a spotlight has been placed on mental health. Part 1 focuses largely on how the workplace has responded to the mental health pandemic, the trends we are seeing now and what we can expect to see post pandemic, together with some of the major contributors to mental health concerns in the workplace. Included are the common manifestations of mental illnesses which compromises just one component of the broader mental health topic as positioned in this book.

Part 2 recognises that mental health does not exist in a vacuum. We often talk about the dimensions of wellbeing, and that they are all interconnected. This section of the book covers how our physical wellbeing, financial wellbeing and workplaces all link to our mental health and wellbeing. Mental health is not an island and often requires a more holistic approach in taking care of it.

The last section of the book focuses on frameworks and practical suggestions on how to cope given all this information on mental health. This is in the context of individual coping, e.g., mastering the role of neuroscience or mindfulness, to a more macro-approach using the lens of the workplace. We end off with yet another consideration of the importance of mental health and wellbeing, this time in the context of the future world of work. Just in case it didn’t hit home as yet that the time is now.

Our reader

We believe that this book has been written for anyone who is interested in the field of mental health. So, whether you are an HR practitioner, a leader, clinical or counselling psychologist, industrial and organisational psychologist, a coach, an employee assistance practitioner or a concerned citizen, this book has been put together with you in mind.

What they say about the book

This exciting book provides current and compelling evidence on workplace mental health in the South African context. It begins by examining the impact of COVID-19 and other issues unique to the workplace. The second theme reviews several aspects of the mind-body wholistic approach. It concludes with examples of innovations in treatment, including neuroscience, resiliency, mindfulness, purpose, and future trends. Vandayar’s chapter on the role of employee assistance programmes (EAP) in supporting both individual workers (via traditional onsite counselling services and newer remote technologies) and the work organization is especially useful as a guide for employers. — Mark Attridge, PhD, MA, President, Attridge Consulting, United States

This book provides a fascinating description of the multiple impacts of the global pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce. — Andrew Davies, CEO, ICAS International

This book could not have been published at a more pertinent time. This must-read will enable you to improve your understanding of mental health in the current context, develop insights into holistic approaches and frameworks to address it, and it provides tips and tools on how to cope with mental health in the context of the future world of work and further unknown complexities that might still lie ahead for us. — Dr Shirley Zinn, Chair and Non-Executive Director on multiple Boards

Chapters in the book include:

Part 1
Understanding the current context and what has given rise to this increasing concern

  • Chapter 1: Our COVID and Post-COVID context by Dr Graeme Codrington& Zanele Njapha
  • Chapter 2: Are we equipped to deal with this? What role does the workplace play in managing mental health by Dr Vanessa Govender
  • Chapter 3: Trends in mental health in the workplace by Navlika Ratangee
  • Chapter 4: The post pandemic context: Trauma and Fatigue by Navlika Ratangee
  • Chapter 5: Reflections on the relationship between mental health, work, and the workplace by Dr Angela Whitford du Plessis
  • Chapter 6: Toxic relationships in the workplace by Dr Jopie de Beer, Dr Karina de Bruin & Dr Renate Scherrer
  • Chapter 7: Burning the candle on both ends: Dealing with burnout by Joanna Kleovoulou
  • Chapter 8: Depression and anxiety – A big deal in the workplace by Joanna Kleovoulou
  • Chapter 9: “Dis”traction and “dis”ease by Dr Ashika Pillay

Part 2
Mental health is not an island: Wellbeing is holistic and has multiple dimensions

  • Chapter 10: The impact of nutrition on mental health by Kim Martin
  • Chapter 11: Link between mental health and physical wellbeing by Dr Nikki Connellan
  • Chapter 12: Link between mental health and financial wellbeing by Val Leeming
  • Chapter 13: What can workplaces do to create a culture of care around mental health by Namhla Tambatamba

Part 3
Coping mechanisms: Towards a way forward with mental health

  • Chapter 14: Strengthening plasticity for wellbeing and well-doing at work by Ingra Du Buisson Narsai
  • Chapter 15: Coping mechanisms: more than resiliency, towards building proficiency by Navlika Ratangee
  • Chapter 16: Mindfulness: A life skill for today and the future by Rakhi Beekrum
  • Chapter 17: Acting with purpose to generate adaptive performance by Dr Xander van Lill & Dr Rinet van Lill
  • Chapter 18: Role of employee support programmes by Radhi Vandayar
  • Chapter 19: The Fourth Industrial Revolution in the workplace: Career capital, mental health and wellbeing in the future of work
    Dr Frank Magwegwe

About the Editor

Navlika Ratangee is currently the Managing Director of ICAS Southern Africa. A GIBS MBA graduate and Clinical psychologist with diverse experience in human capital management, behavioural risk, change management, managerial consulting, global management consulting, leadership, women in leadership, organisational resilience and organisational strategy. She also has a wealth of experience in dealing with mental health in the workplace and has consulted to many South African corporates in this regard.

Navlika has an abundance of training, customer engagement experience and has been selected by McKinsey & Company for their WomEnpower event, developing future female leadership for the global community. She regularly acts as a guest lecturer at GIBS, is a group mentor for PGDip and MBA programmes, and research examiner for MBA programmes.

Completing her MBA in 2016 with distinction, Navlika was also awarded the prize as top graduate for the programme. She has furthered her executive education at Harvard Business School, Boston. Navlika has presented at many conferences locally and internationally and has also been a contributor of a chapter in 2 books Managing the COVID-19 vortex and Tourism, Travel and COVID-19, called Promoting personal and workplace mental health in the age of COVID-19.

Foreword by Bonang Mohale

Prof Bonang Mohale is the Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Professor of Practice in the Johannesburg Business School (JBS) College of Business and Economics, Chairman of both The Bidvest Group Limited and SBV Services. He was previously the chairperson of Shell South Africa until end of 2017 and past president of the BMF. Bonang currently serves on the boards of Swiss Re Africa Limited, Rand Merchant Bank Limited (RMB), and SBV. He is author of the best-selling book, Lift as You Rise.

The Contributors

RAKHI BEEKRAMCounselling Psychologist
DR NIKKI CONNELLANChief Medical Officer at ICAS South Africa
DR JOPIE DE BEERManaging Director, JvR Psychometrics (Pty) Ltd
DR KARINA DE BRUINCounselling Psychologists and Managing Director, JVR Academy
INGRA DU BUISSON-NARSAICo-Founder and Director of NeuroCapital Consulting
DR VANESSA GOVENDEROccupational Medicine Specialist and founder of Masakhane Strategic Health Consulting (Pty) Ltd
JOANNA KLEOVOULOUClinical Psychologist and Founder and Owner of PsychMatters Centre®
VAL LEEMINGDirector of Interface
DR FRANK MAGWEGWEFounder and Principal Scientist, Thrive Financial Wellness
KIM MARTINFounder of Lifestyle Dietetics Registered Dietitians
ZANELE NJAPHA‘The UnLearning Lady’, International Transitions Facilitator and Future of Work Speaker
DR ASHIKA PILLAYIntegrative Medical Doctor, Independent Leadership and Executive Coach
DR RENATE SCHERRERClinical Psychologist and Managing Director, JvR Consulting Psychologists
NAMHLA TAMBATAMBAHead of Wellbeing, Nedbank
DR RINET VAN LILLClinical Psychologist in the public health sector
DR XANDER VAN LILLSenior Research Associate, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, UJ
RADHI VANDAYARPeople Engagement Director, HLC

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