Mental health illnesses are increasingly being recognised in different aspects of life; be it workplace, colleges, in our neighbourhoods and society at large. As a result of different factors, especially Covid-19, depression and anxiety have increased to higher rates compared to the past years. With mental health and work, a lack of balance between home and work, toxic work environment, job insecurities and overwork are some of the causes of depression related to employment. This may affect one’s ability to communicate, interact with the co-workers, manage time, to mention but a few. According to Felix Banderembaho, an assistant lecturer, department of clinical psychology at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, depression and anxiety cause a hormonal rush that is associated with you feeling drained and tired. Even after you have gotten some rest, you may be experiencing fatigue. Depression can also happen when an employee has too many tasks to handle. This levels down one’s energy with some other symptoms such as sadness and emptiness, all that making it very difficult to multi-task and carry out day to day work activities to an employee with such illness. Depression can also happen when an employee has too many tasks to handle and finds it challenging enough to work and complete all of them on time. “Most employees normally face burn out as a result of stress; hence prefer postponing tasks, piling it for next time. By the time they return to the files, they have become too many, stress occurs again and that’s when the body will manifest a lack of sleep, lack of appetite, mood swings, heart disease, back pain, headaches, diabetes, including other various minor illnesses not leaving behind psychological effects such as anxiety and depression, loss of concentration and poor decision making,” Bandebereho explains. In addition, mental health hitches have effects on employers and businesses right through increased absenteeism, inadequate productivity and profits due to loss of concentration to the employees dealing with such mental problems. Africain Biraboneye, the General-Secretary of Rwanda Workers’ Trade Union Confederation agrees that when one is facing mental health illness, obviously they do not perform to their best. “The illness interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks. When it is work-related stress, an employee is free to recommend a position that fits his health depending on his level of sickness, and the administrators can see how to arrange that in case the position is available,” he says. Ways to support mental health at work Bandebereho highlights that mental health illnesses are curable just like any other disease. Addressing the symptoms that may signify a problem can lead to successful treatment. One shouldn’t be ignored by the co-workers as stigma worsens the situation, he says. According to Amir Mpazimpaka, communication and public relation officer, an organisation may lose its potential employees just because they cannot work as they are dealing with a lot and have nobody to share with. He therefore says organisations should do a session of mental health issues to help even those who cannot open up. Employees can also share tips on how to manage stress. Whereas, it can be kind of self-assessment, it can helps one to be in touch with themselves and with their emotions.