Lagos State government has unveiled a-state-of-the-art Employee Wellness Centre called LASWELL Centre to cater for the mental health needs of its workforce for effective service delivery.
Head of Service, Mr.Hakeem Muri-Okunola who today unveiled the Centre located within the premises of Folarin Coker Staff Clinic inside the State Secretariat Complex, Alausa-Ikeja stated that the LASWELL Centre has been structured to enhance the welfare of Lagos State Public Servants to function effectively and attain satisfactory standards of mental stability in the discharge of their duties.
Mr. Okunola explained that the Centre which will be opened to only public servants has been scheduled to provide a wide range of social support services and interventions through a community-based inter-disciplinary mobile treatment team which comprise of case managers, peer support workers, psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, nurses and vocational specialists.
He added that the Centre will operate a Call-In Services, whereby members staff would have the opportunity to seek help through designated phone lines which will be opened two days in a week at specified times.
“The Centre is therefore structured to enhance the welfare of Lagos State Public Servants to function effectively, with the help of professionals, as well as ensure that Officers attain satisfactory standards of mental stability as well as emotional/psychological well-being’’, the Head of Service emphasized.
While commending the efforts of the State Ministry of Health and Ministry of Youth and Social Development in establishing the centre, Muri-Okunola restated the commitment of the Sanwo Olu led administration in the provision of social support infrastructure towards ensuring the emotional stability of Public Servants.
“It is my candid view that such commitment to the provision of social support infrastructure on the part of the State Government towards ensuring the emotional stability of Public Servants would go a long way, not only in boosting the overall well-being of members of staff individually, but also in enhancing the effectiveness and overall productivity of the State workforce, as a collective”. He said.
The Head of Service urged members of staff to feel free to visit the center when necessary noting that mental health services provided at the Centre are provided by licensed professionals in various disciplines.
‘‘this Centre was not established to create fear or stigmatize anyone who may be at risk or may be experiencing prodromal symptoms of illness; acute disorders, remission or individuals who may not necessarily appear physically ill but may be challenged by daily routine functioning, demands and expectations on them either at work or at home, as well as Officers that may be overwhelmed by emotional relationship problems and other mental or psychological issues”. He said.
Speaking earlier, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi commended the Head of Service for the initiative which is the beginning of important initiative around mental health in the State.
He noted that the establishment of a functional wellness center is in line with the present administrations’ THEMES agenda and the promotion of mental health and well-being of members of staff and Lagosians at large which is prioritized within the state’s development agenda for Health.
“In the normal hemisphere, it is almost a normal thing to have a personal counselor because of the stress of modern age, internet bombardment of information and expectation from work. This is the beginning of a very important initiative around mental health in the state, thank you head of service”. He said
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health Dr. Olusegun Ogboye explained that the LASWELL Centre is an outpatient mental health and social care service for employees of Lagos state Civil Service established to create integrated evidence based recovery oriented service delivery models that will promote resilience and wellbeing of Lagos state employee.
Dr. Ogboye stated further that services that will be rendered in the wellness center include counselling services to all employee, suicide prevention support services and initiative that reduces stigma, alcohol and drug use intervention, assessment for and referral for treatment of medical disorders, right protection of employees with mental illness and awareness.
He added that services at the center will be opened to all civil servants between 9am and 4pm daily and they can also book appointment by calling the on 07025002756 or email on [email protected]
“LASWELL center is an outpatient mental and social care service of employees of Lagos state civil service established to create integrated evidence based recovery oriented service delivery models that promotes resilience and wellbeing of Lagos state employee’’, Ogboye noted.