Dr. Dismas Bwesigye, an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist and psychotherapist at the National Mental Referral Hospital, Butabika, enlightened KCB staff on mental health in efforts to help them improve their performance at work and personal lives.
This was during a mental health webinar hosted by KCB Bank Uganda in commemoration of the Mental Health Awareness month. The webinar was held under the theme Back to Basics. Following the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, several people and employees of various organisations have encountered stress, isolation and uncertainty which have taken a toll on their wellbeing.
Dr. Bwesigye pointed out that some of the mental health conditions may have more than one contributing cause and may co-occur. “Mental health disorders can be caused by genetics – risk of certain illnesses that exist in the family history, abnormal functioning of brain systems, substance abuse such as cannabis, alcohol or caffeine, social matters such as abuse, neglect, bullying, religion or spirituality,” he said.
With over 11 years of experience, Dr. Bwesigye is well known for assessing and treating a wide range of mental conditions including PSTD, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, addictions among others.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health (5th Edition), there are over 150 mental disorders which include anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychotic disorders, among so many others.
Signs of mental illness, according to Dr. Bwesigye differ from individual to individual and the situation. Strong feelings of anger, social withdrawal, dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits, substance use, suicidal thoughts, and numerous unexplained physical ailments are some the most common signs of mental illness in adults, young adults, and adolescents. “Individuals with these signs are considered clinically depressed and need expert help,” he said.
He further revealed that, “In order to prevent and avoid issues arising from poor mental health, endeavour to incorporate moderate exercise in your daily routines, avoid toxic people and situations, seek therapy, practice forgiveness, do not dwell on past hurts, also remember to laugh. Laughter is good for the soul.”
Speaking on behalf of the bank, Susan Mugenyi, the HR Business Partner at KCB Bank Uganda, who was also the moderator, commended Dr. Bwesigye for the wonderful insights and urged her workmates to practice the awareness passed on to yield better results in their personal and work lives.
“Here at KCB, we prioritize our health and having this insightful presentation from Dr. Bwesigye has put us in the know about the importance of being mentally aware to make sure that we are always in the right state of mind. We will make sure to incorporate exercise, good feeding and adequate sleep as advised to prevent the occurrence of these mental health issues and achieve performance” she concluded.