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Matatu firm to conduct driver mental health checks

Monday December 30 2019

Matatu

A matatu at Karunga area along Elburgon-Njoro road in Nakuru. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH OPENDA
By JOSEPH OPENDA
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akuru-based transport company Prestige Shuttle says it will conduct mental health training for its crews in order to improve their well-being and ensure they have a clear mind while at work.

The company reckons the move will improve general behaviour of its crews on the road as well as enhance road safety.

Prestige Shuttle director Steve Muli said the initiative is part of several projects it has initiated with the aim of influencing positive change in the public transport sector.

Mr Muli, who is also the chairman of the Central Rift Matatu Owners Association, said the drivers’ well-being is a key element in driving positive change among road users.

“We decided to take care of our drivers’ well-being since they are key stakeholders in the transport business. For the country to realise positive behaviour among the road users, we must start by ascertaining the mental health of the drivers,” he said.

At least 30 crew members were taken through a three-day mental health training in Nakuru over the weekend which was conducted by Emily Mutheu, a clinical psychologist at Kenyatta National Hospital.

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According to Ms Mutheu, who is also a mental health expert at PsycoAfrica Plus, the mental well-being of an employee has a direct impact on their productivity, thus the need for companies to have strategies to address it.

“In our training we look at the common issues affecting the worker’s mental health, their effects and look for ways of addressing them. With the right frame of mind, the employees are able to increase their productivity which improves business,” said Ms Mutheu.

Some of the issues affecting the mental health of employees are depression, anxiety disorders, occupational stress, among others.