The Lagos State government has concluded plans to activate a state-of-the-art Lagos State Employee Wellness (LASWELL) Centre, set up to cater for the mental health needs of its workforce.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, disclosed this while co-hosting a virtual Awareness and Sensitisation Conference on the LASWELL Centre held via Zoom, saying that the Centre was established to provide services that will ensure the mental wellness of all staff of the Lagos State Government.
He said, “The Lagos State Government recognises that its employees are its most important resource. Research has shown that when people are happy, they are more creative and more productive in their personal and work lives. We know that when employees thrive, the entire Lagos State community benefits. So the LASWELL Centre was established to support Lagos State employees with both professional and personal concerns that may impact their overall wellbeing”.
While noting that the State government remains committed to ensuring that its workforce is both mentally and physically sound, Ogboye posited that the promotion of mental health and well-being of staff are priorities within the State’s development agenda.
He added that the State has set the groundwork for the development of sustainable mental health services that will ensure improved health outcomes, which will positively impact on productivity within the workforce.
“We have set the groundwork for the development of sustainable mental healthcare programmes and services that will ensure improved health outcomes and will positively impact on productivity in the States’ workforce”, he said.
The Permanent Secretary disclosed further that the LASWELL Centre is located on the first floor of the Folarin Coker Staff Clinic, in a warm, welcoming and friendly environment, stressing that the mental health services at the centre will be provided by licensed professionals in various disciplines who are willing and ready to help.
He said that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been directed to nominate six members of staff, respectively, to serve as wellness champions who will help in reaching out to members of staff who need help.
Ogboye maintained that before the activation of the centre, nominated champions from all MDAs will be trained to identify and support other staff who require care to access the services at the centre, adding that the training will commence on Friday, 24th July 2020.
While thanking the members of staff for attending the meeting, the Permanent Secretary urged those who may be interested in joining the wellness champions but were not nominated to signify their interest by volunteering themselves through their various departments.
Earlier in her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Yewande Falugba, who also co-hosted the webinar conference, stated that the idea of the wellness centre was borne out of the initiative of the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola to create a permanent solution to addressing mental health issues among members of staff so as to improve the productivity of the most vibrant Civil Service in the country.
Falugba explained that services that will be rendered at the wellness centre include Mental Health Counseling, Organisational Psychology, Diagnostic Assessment and Referral, noting that the team of health care professional who will work at the centre are social workers, psychologists and psychiatric nurses.
She assured that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will not relent in putting in place policies targeted at promoting sustainable social development, especially for its employees.