Psychiatrist Canvasses Mental Health Stability for Organizational Leaders

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Psychiatrist Canvasses Mental Health Stability for Organizational Leaders
L-R: Otunba Olumide Osunsina,managing director Megamound Investment Limited;Pharm.(Mrs).Olubamiwo Adeosun,SSG,Oyo-State;Pharm.Akinjide Adeosun, chairman, The Akinjide Adeosun Foundation(AAF); HH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi CON; Pharm .Jimi Agbaje & Mrs.Foluso Onabowale,CEO, Tower Cross Limited, at the 2022 AAF’s Colloquium & Awards – Chapter 7 in Lagos.

A Professor of Psychiatry at the Lagos State University Teaching (LASUTH), Ayodele Coker, has identified mental health stability as a major qualification for leaders in organisational settings, stressing that it is a major determinant of the success or failure of any leader.
He averred that leaders without stable mental health quickly become overwhelmed, anxious, burnt out and exhausted because of daily demands.

Coker maintained that leaders in whatever capacity must have sound emotional intelligence and resilience, saying this will help them in effective communication, innovative thinking, connection building and sensitivity to the needs of their subordinates.

The psychiatry professor made the submissions while presenting the keynote address at the 2022 Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AAF)’s Leadership Colloquium and Awards– Chapter 7, held recently at the Auditorium Alliance Française, Mike Adenuga Centre, Lagos.

Speaking on the topic “Leadership and mental health”, Coker said many Nigerians are suffering from emotional distress, due to bad leadership, stressing that this could get worse if nothing is done urgently to review the ugly trend.
He emphasised the need for leaders to invest in the emotional well-being of their followers or employees, adding that this will enhance their loyalty and productivity.

In the same vein, he said if a leader is insensitive to the mental health of his subjects, such a leader will fail to get the support of his followers and they can cast a vote of no confidence in him or her at any time.

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On the consequences of bad leadership, Coker asserted that poor leadership can become a source of stress for followers, reduce productivity, and lead to occupational distress, as well as mental health problems.

According to him, “One study by Giorgi et al in 2015, in a sample of 1,100 employees, showed that the inability of leaders to understand the stress levels of members led the team to develop occupationally distress and mental health problems.

“It is possible that leaders who suffer from job demands are more likely to have followers who also report higher levels of stress.”

In his address, the Chairman, AAF and CEO, St Rachael’s Pharma, Pharm. Akinjide Adeosun explained the Foundation was founded to contribute to national development through the provision of educational sponsorship and free health services, as well as recognition of excellence in society.

Adeosun, who used the occasion to also celebrate his 54th birthday, said the Foundation is passionate about demonstrating leadership empathy through the execution of free education and health initiatives. He listed projects implemented by the Foundation to include healthcare interventions in Lagos, Ekiti, and Oyo states, with a vision of launching an N250m project soon.

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He said: “At AAF, we are deeply committed to supporting quality education and providing free health services to indigent persons in Nigeria. This is an example of empathy value and behaviour expected of leaders in Nigeria.

“In June 2022, we organised a Free Health Mission at Ado-Ekiti where many patients were rescued from the claws of death from preventable diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes. We are committed to showing forth the leadership behaviour of empathy through the execution of free education and health initiatives.

“We have intervened in Ekiti, Lagos and Oyo States. We shall soon launch an N250m Project Education and Health (PEH) Fund to enable us to scale up our Free Education and Health project in all geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The target is to provide free health and education support to a total of 30,000 needy persons in a sustainable manner over five years. Our purpose is to contribute to lifting Nigeria out of the
abysmal low human development”.

St Rachael’s boss also seized the avenue to speak on some burning issues in the country, especially security, economy and corruption, saying that he supports the call by the governors of Zamfara and Katsina States for self-defence, urging citizens to apply for firearms.

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He also called for the arrest of corrupt officials at foreign airports in order for justice to take the right course in the nation. The Special Guest of Honour, at the occasion, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CON, who spoke on the theme of the Colloquium “Are good leaders scarce in Nigeria?”, said that while leadership is all about having a clear vision and getting the followership to work towards the actualisation of that vision, it is unfortunate that most Nigerian leaders have no other vision than the next election, which justifies the
the reason why the country is comatose.

The monarch, who argued that good leaders are not in short supply in the country, blamed the citizens for their docility, which allows unqualified personalities to assuming leadership positions without
questioning.

“The reason why anybody unqualified can just come and become a leader in this country is that we don’t ask questions before and after. Good leaders are not scarce we only need to ask the right questions,” he said.

The high point of the event was the presentation of the 2022 Integrity in Leadership Award to Mrs Foluso Onabowale, CEO, Tower Cross Limited and the 2022 Excellence in Leadership Award to Otunba Olumide Osunsina, managing director, Megamound Investment Limited.

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