In an endeavour to ensure that its mines increase production and reach set targets, reduce Lost time injuries and fatalities as well as improve the mental well-being of its employees, Kuvimba Mining House (KMH) last week launched the Mental Wellness Beyond Generations which will see the company addressing mental health issues for its workers.
Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how people think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how one handles stress, relates to others, and makes healthy choices.
Kuvimba said it believes that what is often overlooked among the legitimate concerns about physical risks, is that mining is also one of the most mentally taxing professions which require employers to address issues of mental health.
According to KMH Compliance Officer Amanda Mudzingwa, there are a number of mental health problems unique to mining, whose cause is directly influenced by the work involved, therefore, it becomes important for mining firms to create mental health facilities at the workplace to ensure these issues are addressed.
“We are talking about the importance of mental health in the workplace, every employee is someone who comes somewhere there is something going on, either its depression, either there is illness, either there is grief. So we are here saying let’s recognise that every individual may have something going on. We are therefore here to say let’s take time to deal with our mental health. The workplace should start creating mental health facilities to ensure these issues are addressed,” Mudzingwa said.
Shandawana Mines Safety Health and Environment Quality (SHEQ) Superintendent Cecilia Mashingaidze said mental health problems, like fatigue and sleep deprivation, can decrease the focus and attention to tasks and augment the risks of accidents.
“This is a very important day for us as SHEQ because we believe that the wellness and safety of our employees is very fundamental to productivity because if employees are healthy and well interms of their mental and physical abilities they are able to focus on their work. Employee wellness is very important to us because it helps the workers to focus on work thereby be well aware of the hazards associated with their work,” Mashingaidze said.
According to Zimalloys General Manager Mr Dereck Dube, “Mental Health is something that is not just affecting us monthly or weekly but something that is affecting us every day. As Kuvimba we have seen it fit to launch this initiative to be able to raise the awareness that is needed to say that mental health is very important for us as a ground. We want to create a space where people are comfortable sharing their mental health issues. Behind the targets and machines are people so we want their minds to be ready and suited for the job,” he said.