As Malaysia’s Covid-19 numbers continue to rise towards worrying levels, members of the public have been thrusted into a gust of fear and anxiety over the return of movement restriction orders yet again.
Ismail Sabri announced on Monday that Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Sabah will be placed under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) and it will begin at 12:01am on October 14th until October 27th.
Citing the current situation, occupational health expert Dr Shawaludin Husin said it will not be unusual to have the anxiety graph show upward trajectories in these times.
At the start of the pandemic, people were more worried about their health and risk of being exposed to the virus. Their main source of stress also came from needing to adapt to the work-from-home environment and learning of digital applications to stay in touch with the office.
“But the MCO’s greatest impact is its effect on the economy when many workers were terminated or asked to go on leave without pay. Many employers on their part were forced to suspend their operations temporarily while others had to fold up their businesses due to financial constraints,” he said.
Losing a job and source of income all of a sudden can have an immediate impact on one’s mental health, especially if there’s a family depending on them to provide.
If left unchecked, stress levels can lead to extreme psychological hazards and it gives employers that much of a reason to refrain from termination without a proper warning.
“The employees too have to be considerate and think of the burden borne by their employers. They (workers) should remember the contributions of their employers and try their best to help their company to recover,” Nasrullah Zainal Abidin, a psychology officer at Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Negeri Sembilan branch campus in Rembau said.
It is also time that we recognize mental health professionals for their work as they play a vital role during times like this.
“The health and safety of workers should not just cover their physical aspect but their psychological aspect as well as it contributes to their overall well-being.
“If all two aspects are not cared for, it will affect the productivity of an organisation,” said Nasrullah, adding that issues such as burnout and uncontrolled stress can lead to high levels of absenteeism.
Although organizations around have taken the step towards setting up mental health facilities for their employees, it is essential that employee to employer communication be maintained at a heathy standard to avoid contributing to mental health issues among workers.