Don’t Use Leave For Side Jobs – Mental Health Expert Warns

A Mental Health Expert has warned Ghanaians against using their leave period for side jobs instead of rest, disclosing that the practice is inimical to workers’ mental health.

According to Dr. Pearl Adu-Nyako of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, rest is vital to the maintenance of a good mental health and workers’ leave provides the rare opportunity for them to help the body make up for mental fatigue.

Dr. Adu-Nyako was speaking at a workshop on Mental Health in Kumasi for ‘Women in Forestry’, organized by the Rights and Advocacy Initiatives Networks (RAIN) a not for profit organization based in Kumasi, in collaboration with Client Earth (a UK based Charity organization). She expressed worry that many workers choose to do side works instead of taking enough rest.

“I have observed from many brain scans conducted that, the state of the brains of many 35-45 year-olds have developed signs of those of persons aged above 65 years,” she revealed, attributing it to overworking of the brain.

She cautioned that, if the practice is not stopped among workers, especially women, they risk developing dementia at an earlier age than normal.

She explained that the idea of leave was borne out of the need to give the body and especially the brain time to rest and repair themselves of the wear associated with continuous work, thus workers must use it as such.

She advised women to train their children to do some of the menial jobs at home to help them reduce the stress that emanates from domestic chores and pressures.

“Train the children to learn some of the menial jobs such as arranging shoes, washing their plates and putting a few things in order to reduce the pressure and stress at home,” she suggested, adding that the children would grow into the practice, thus taking off some of the burden off their shoulders.

‘Women in Forestry’ is a platform for women from various units of the forestry sector including the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the media, academia, government, and industry scattered across the country.

The platform provides opportunity these women to periodically come together to build their capacities on legal and contemporary issues pertaining to the forestry sector, share lessons and network amongst themselves as professionals.

This workshop which was aimed at addressing issues affecting their mental health and pensions was organized with funding support from UKaid through the Forest Governance Market and Climate (FGMC) grant.

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