Prioritising mental health, selfcare, wellbeing and safety at work: an ethical imperative

April 28th is the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, and the Pacific Community (SPC) is commemorating this day by organising and launching a series of advocacy tools including selfcare journals, e-cards, and “3min Pacific break” videos that contribute to physical, mental and psychosocial well-being at the Workplace.

While this World Day is observed to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally, SPC is using this as an opportunity to promote and create awareness on having a safe and healthy workplace- it serves as a reminder of the importance of looking after our wellbeing and to prioritise safety at work, in alignment with our Social and Environmental Responsibility policy.

The COVID-19 pandemic had wide ranging impacts on health, economy, livelihoods, jobs, and education; it has increased peoples’ anxiety, and stress levels thus affecting relationships and interactions at personal but also at organisational levels. As an Organisation SPC is committed to implementing preventive and response measures to better support our staff especially during the Pandemic when staff were working remotely.

SPC’s Director of Public Health, Dr Berlin Kafoa, stressed the importance of the effort saying, “The pandemic has placed an increasing strain on everyone especially those who are struggling to cope with physical or mental health related issues. Our responsibility to SPC staff and their families is to ensure they have adequate support to access the help they need,”.

Looking after our physical and mental health, wellbeing and prioritising safety at work involve decisions that people make for themselves and for those they work with to get and stay both physically and mentally fit, and to ensure safety in the workplace. As a way to promote these ideas, SPC marked World Day for Safety and Health through a range of activities, including:

  • A Safety walk
  • The Launch of the “Selfcare Journal
  • The Launch of the “3 min Pacific break” videos
  • An Exhibition of artworks (paintings, poems, comics, and e-cards).
  • Several Wellbeing booths (e.g., sports/physical activity, arts, and music therapy)
Safety walk
Artworks Exhibition (paintings, poems, comics, and e-cards)

Dr Paula Vivili, SPC’s Deputy Director-General (Science and Capability) in Suva highlighted the connection between mental and physical health, “Looking after our mental health, wellbeing, and prioritising safety at work is vital for our organisation. We are committed to supporting our staff. The observance of this day is our way of keeping a check of our mental health and wellbeing but taking serious steps in ensuring that Occupational safety and health (OHS) risks are reduced in the workplace, and we are moving towards building a strong, safe, and healthy work culture”.

The events, products and activities of the World Day for Safety and Health at work were made possible with the support of the European Union (EU), and was organised by the One SPC team.

Media contact(s):
Christelle Lepers, Surveillance Information and Communications Officer, Pacific Community (SPC) | [email protected]
Veena Singh, Gender Research Officer, Pacific Community (SPC) | [email protected]
For general media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

About SPC:
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organisation in the region, owned and governed by its 27 member countries and territories. 
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Click the pictures below to download more comics and e-cards

Challenge yourself at work

Through this 3 min Pacific Break video series, discover traditional Pacific dances to fight against a sedentary lifestyle. See an overview with these four videos. Access the full playlist here

Droits de la personne et développement social
Santé Publique