‘Unmanaged stress leads to mental problems’

Business, work or organising the home comes with stress that can trigger various illnesses.

It was for this reason that Commonwealth Business Women (CBW) organised a lunch and learn event in Blantyre recently to help businesswomen cope.

The event was meant to equip them with knowledge on health, well being and economic empowerment.

“We thought we needed to understand ourselves better as women. Yes, we want to build entrepreneurs- give them platform and access to markets, but if one does not understand how their health and well being affects their business, then it will not progress.

“Remember, the entrepreneur is the machine that handles the business and if that machine is not oiled properly, it will not build resilient businesses,” CBW director, Dineo Mkwezalamba explained.

She said the workshop was also aimed at showing that CBW is not just another women’s organisation in Malawi, but looking at the business woman holistically.

“We want to build women because we are not going to hold their hands forever. We can equip them to become resilient,” she said.

Joseph Maseke is a registered nurse in mental health. In his presentation, he said mental health was misunderstood by the public.

He observed that bipolar mood disorder was one such mental illness-treatable, but to which no treatment is sought because of lack of knowledge.

“Research shows that those who seek treatment for mood disorders are able to find the treatment and regain their normal life,” he pointed out.

CBW is new to Malawi. It identifies women and links them with government and the private sector.

According to Mkwezalamba, women in business lack entrepreneurial support, training, right tools to grow or access export avenues. So, we are creating a platform to bring that change,” she explained.

In Africa, there are 18 countries that form part of the CBW group and Mkwezalamba said they have intra-trade for within those countries.

Apart from that, she said they plan to recognise champions of industries as there were many women unrecognised for their efforts.

“We have women doing well in mining, insurance, technology, health and well being. These are among the 21 sectors we are looking into to offer training relevant to our economy. Our aim is to reach 441 women we can build to expertise,” she said. n

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