As part of the week long activities by the Human Resource Department (HR) to mark the 2024 Health Week celebration with the theme, “Our forests, Our Wellbeing”, the HR Department organised a health talk to sensitise staff on the need to balance work, life, health and finances.
The Forestry Commission Health Week, is an annual event put in place to promote healthy and balanced lifestyles amongst staff. This year, staff had the opportunity to listen to selected topics on mental health, financial literacy and financial wellbeing.
Specialists from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, First Atlantic Bank and GCB Bank Ghana PLC enlightened staff on the aforementioned topics.
Dr. Albert Sedohia, a Specialist Psychiatrist with the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, educated staff on the impact of work and family stresses on mental health. According to him, “spending time with nature has been known to help with conditions such as anxiety and depression”, acknowledging the validity of the chosen theme. He stressed on the difference between mental health and mental illness stating that the former is a state of wellbeing that enables people to cope with the stresses of life to work well to contribute to community whereas the latter is any condition that negatively affects feelings, thoughts or behavior. He admonished staff to treat people with such diagnosis with empathy as everyone is just a circumstance away from mental illness for with much attention and care, people can function well, living with these conditions. He encouraged that people desist from referring to others as “mad” which is necessary in the bid to eradicate stigmatisation in this regard. He further explained that time management, self-care, social support and work life balance are strategies to manage stress. Dr. Sedohia suggested that staff seek therapy and counselling from professionals as their confidentiality is bound by law and also to equip them with adequate stress management strategies.
Mr. Prince Atsianu of First Atlantic Bank gave a talk on a financial literacy topic, “Checking your financial BP”. He explained that for one to know their financial standing, there is the need to take note of one’s assets versus their liabilities and that a person’s financial status is not determined by their earnings but rather the ability to exercise control over their expenditure. He introduced staff to the “ISP Pyramid” which are the three things to focus on for a financial wellbeing, namely; investment, savings and protection. On investment, he said, “The best time to start is today because you cannot predict the future”, and gave treasury bills, mutual funds and assets such as buildings to rest and means to secure investments. He stressed on the importance of retirement planning and encouraged staff to seek insurance policies as means of protection for the future. He then recommended First Atlantic Bank’s Mutual Fund plan called Personal Investment Plan (PIP) as a sustainable means for staff who would like to invest to do so.
A two-member team from the GCB Bank Ghana PLC also gave an overview of the Bank and on financial wellbeing. Mr. Richmond Asumadu and Ms. Nancy Ofori-Kuragu advised on some of their bank’s products and services which will aid in achieving some level of financial peace. They made mention of the “Easy Pick Policy” where people are allowed to purchase appliances from selected companies and then pay in installments;, the Wealth Master Policy, a saving arrangement which permits the Bank to deduct a certain amount out of one’s salary towards a financial goal and a salary advancement where salaried account holders are given an 80 percent advancement on salaries in case of emergency. They stated, the goal is not about more money, the goal is living life on your terms.”
The day’s events was climaxed with a question and answer session from staff both in-person and online.