Debmarine prioritising employee’s health and wellness

LEADING marine diamond mining company Debmarine Namibia is prioritising the health of its employees through its ‘health and wellness’ division.

In an interview with Confidente, Wellness Manager Elsabe Grotzinger who has been in the wellness field for 18 years highlights some of the advantages of having a wellness department in a company.

CR: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

EG: I am a registered social worker and I have also completed my masters in clinical psychology. Currently, I am doing my internship. I have been in the wellness field for 18 years and I really love what I do because it contributes to the quality of life of many. I am a mother of four and I have been married like for ever.

CR: Could you please explain what health and wellness in marine diamond mining entails?

EG: It entails the physical and emotional health of our employees but we do more than that, we follow the wellness will that enjoys the most attention.

We make sure that employees receive psychological or psychiatric care from various medical professions which they require help from such as bio-kinetics, physiotherapy and dietician.

We are two clinical psychologist in the company and we also provide therapy session to the employees including their family members for free of charge. If there is anything that comes up, we assist them further and if treatment is required, we refer them to a physiatrist or a general practitioners.

We are also allowed to diagnose so, if that is the case, we do that and treat them accordingly. If it is depression we ensure that patients/employees are put on treatment and that they continue with psychotherapy.

The division also assists the employees to manage their lifestyles for instance if they have chronic diseases like hypotension, obese or cholesterol.

CR: How does this unit help women delver efficiency and effectiveness in their working environments?

EG: If they are mentally and physical well than they are happier human beings, which means they will be more productive.

CR: What are some of the initiatives that you have brought up to improve delivery of health and wellness division in Debmarine Namibia?

EG: I actually started the programme at Debmarine Namibia 18 years ago, so everything that is there, I have been a huge part of it, it is my brain child.

Every year we evaluate the programme and see what we can improve. Over the past years we have actually introduce a number of new programs.

The latest one is a mental health activations because of covid-19, people are experiencing a lot of mental health issues. We are now teaching them about self-resilience, how to put action in place so to remain healthier, and this program focuses a lot on themselves and the community.

We also have substance use program were we assist people with substance and alcohol drug abuse problems which is a very affective program since we have seen a 90% turn around.

CR: What are the challenges that you have faced in delivering your role?

EG: It is actually great to work for Debmarine Namibia because the budget is not a problem.

The only challenge would be, if an employee does not have insight than they become unavailable to do introspection and blame the next person resulting to no accountability and therapy programs become a bit more challenging.

CR: On a lighter note, what would you say is the top benefit of having a health and wellness division in Debmarine?

When you have a wellness program in place medium to long term, you will save money because employees become proactive and not reactive.

CR: What role has your division played in dealing with covid-19?

EG: Covid-19 came a lot of anxiety and depression, so we play an important role in education, hygiene, how to prevent covid-19 from spreading, being safe and all the other things to do to avoid getting or spreading it.

We also provide therapy for people tested positive of covid-19 and their families.

CR: What advice would you give to those who would like to pursue a career in mining wellness?

EG: This is a very exciting field, everyday it is different. It is great to work with people. We are directly saving lives.

CR: What inspired you to pursue a career in mining?

EG: I love to be part of diamond mining, specifically working for Debmarine Namibia is the best because it is a very caring company.

Having a close relationship with the employees is what makes it exciting.