Stress levels rising
Come January next year, the Heart & Stroke Foundation will be targeting workers employed in stressful professions such as the local constabulary and persons at the level of chief excutive officer.
Chief executive officer of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Gina Pitts, made this disclosure during an interview with Barbados TODAY which looked at stress in the workplace and the wider society.
Her disclosure follows the recent death of four police officers, who fell victim to either heart disease or stoke, the sudden death of the principal of Lester Vaughn School, cases where persons have died in their sleep or collapsed while walking on the streets of The City.
“It is important that employers recognise that they do not need an Act of Parliament to look at the health and well-being of their staff. They either take the well-being of their staff seriously or they are going to lose them not because they are laying them off, but because they are dying. The stress in the service industries has increased in recent times. It is also stressful for teachers in the local school system,” the senior official of the Heart & Stroke Foundation said.
“This is not a very good time of the year coming up to Christmas and January because we at the Heart & Stroke Foundation know through the Barbdos National Registry for non-communicable disease that the incidence of heart attacks and stroke go up over this festive season. During 2014 one of our plans is certainly to deal with those areas and occupations that are at high risk. I think the economic environment is going to mean that more and more individuals will be in this high risk surge from the level of stress that they will be under. Clearly the Police Force is an area where the stress level will be high. Individuals under the age of 60 seem to be having certain cardiac deaths,” Pitts added.
She pointed out that not only members of the constabulary, but CEOs were under stress on a daily basis because they have to ensure that investors make a resonable return on their investments or funds allocated is used wisely.