Thursday 10 October, 2019 is World Mental Health Day. Mental health is a topic that resonates with me deeply as I suffered from depression from my early 20’s and on medication and consultation for many years. Depression is an ‘invisible’ disease, nonetheless is a disease in itself. It bears no physical wounds or bruises but effects the lives of sufferers in a tangible way. Like myself, when I was suffering from my bouts of clinical depression, I could hardly get out of bed and effected my relationships with people around me.
Maideasy sets mental health issues as its social cause because, myself, as a co-founder suffered through this potentially debilitating condition, if left undiagnosed and untreated, has in some instances caused loss of lives.
When Maideasy started, the problems we faced were insurmountable to say the least. Providing job opportunities were not enough in solving the supply issues that plagued us at the start. As an economist, and when behavioural economics made trendy headways, we decided to consult SOLS247, an NGO that provides mental health support to the under privileged for help. Our consultation project unearthed deep insights on the issues that were plaguing the B40 community, the bulk of the people that form our pool of crew. Being able to look at their problems in the lenses of psychology helped us decide appropriate training programs that helped us with many of the problems we faced when dealing with supply issues.
Upon further investigation, we find out that mental health counselling to diagnose and treat problems were very out of reach for the B40 community. Add that to the stigma that mental health sufferers has within our cultural context, many are referred to untrained and unqualified parties to ‘solve’ these problems.
Maideasy provides a lending ear to our cleaning crew when faced with potential mental health issues. Personally, I have been a strong advocate for mental health in my own office, having open dialogues and personal conversations with my staff for them to feel safe in telling me about their problems. As for our cleaning crew, those who feel that they suspect they are suffering from mental health problem, we always refer them to SOLS247 for further consultations. A few of our crew has benefitted from our referrals getting the right help for themselves.
As part of our social mission, Maideasy will continue to advocate for mental health awareness. Access to mental health care is considered a form of safety net, much like healthcare, for the society especially the vulnerable and the less informed.
# Maideasy aims to achieve triple bottom line investing, that measures financial returns, environmental returns, and social returns for the business. Our advocacy for mental health support falls in line with our social mission to bring good to the community around us.