QFC Celebrates World Mental Health Day
Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world’s leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, has confirmed its commitment to creating and maintaining healthy workplace cultures on the occasion of World Mental Health Day 2020. Although according to the World Health Organization (WHO) almost 1 billion people are suffering from a mental disorder, mental health is one of the most overlooked areas of general public health, which is gaining more and more attention for the impact of the isolation imposed by COVID-19 on human relations and wellbeing.
The Qatar Financial Centre, which recognises the importance of mental health through its Employment Standards Office (ESO), has been committed throughout the years to supporting employers and employees to create and maintain healthy workplace cultures.
In particular, since 2016 the ESO has promoted several forms of intervention following international methods and programmes:
- As part of the primary prevention – concerned with reduction or elimination of stressors and promotion of a supportive and healthy working environment – the ESO has published policies and provided tools such as the anti-bullying and harassment policy, a guidance to support employers in identifying risks and hazards in the workplace and a risk assessment template. The ESO has also organised workshops to promote awareness on mental health and participated actively to conferences organised by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA).
- With regard to the secondary prevention – dealing with actions on management of stress and anxiety – the ESO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), has also designed a mental wellbeing campaign for the QFC firms to increase self-awareness and improve stress management skills of all employees working in the QFC environment.
In addition to a variety of services provided to QFC employees who were experiencing stress problems, one of the key tools of the QFC EAP provided during the initial stage of the pandemic, where working from home was mandatory for almost all sectors, was represented by confidential professional coaching, which has proved to be very effective in stress management, particularly in dealing with stressors such as job loss, retirement and family matters related to work from home that had an inevitable impact on individuals’ work life and productivity.
The QFC’s focus on mental health is part of its wider commitment to Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), that has seen the ESO cooperating with MADLSA and MoPH for many years. In this regard, the QFC expresses sincere congratulations to MADLSA and MoPH for the recent publication of the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health, aiming to promote healthcare services for both physical and psychological or mental health matters.