Mental Health in the Workplace – World Mental Health Day 2017

Poor mental health or depression at work is often interpreted in layman’s terms as ‘a bad day’ or ‘a stressful day’.  Very often, feeling low or stressed  is not considered as a major health concern leading to under-estimation of its harm on overall well-being. Depression among employees is the leading cause of absenteeism and even if present, an emotionally stressed employee is unproductive.

  • In India, one out of two employees suffer from depression and anxiety as revealed by a survey conducted across 6000 employees in different cities.
  • 80% exhibited symptoms of anxiety while 55% were suffering from depression over a year.
  • 42.5% of employees in private sector were found to be suffering from depression (Assocham study 2016)
  • 30% increase in suicidal behaviours was reported from 2008 to 2012 among employees.
  • Globally approx. 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression and it  is the leading cause of suicides among the most productive population ranging between 15 to 29 years of age (WHO).

Causes of anxiety in the corporate world

Instability / insecurity – There is a constant fear of losing the job to some person or machine more competent than us

Ambiguity – Jobs today are characterized by uncertainty due to fluctuating markets and economy

Excessive pressure – Mostly higher authorities try to squeeze out the maximum work from subordinates

Unrealistic goals or expectations – Millennials want instant gratification and push themselves beyond limits to meet expectations and stand apart.
The critical linkage between depression and suicides makes early diagnosis urgent.

Identifying early signs of depression is very vital and can be achieved by providing more channels to dissipate negative energies and also to express thoughts and feeling openly with seniors. Work environments need to cater to not just physical requirements but also psychological comfort of the employees


Coping with anxiety and depression at work

Here are a few simple steps that can help you

  • Make a list of to-do things– Listing out the tasks at hand can help organize your day and ticking them off the list will ease the mental pressure.
  • Meditate – Spending even 5 minutes with yourself in contemplation can rejuvenate your senses.
  • Allow some clutter – It’s not important to be  perfect but rather enjoy the process
  • Exercise – Exercise releases endorphins: the feel-good hormones and they surely set you up for a proactive day at work
  • Talk to  family member – Humans are social animals and hence for us there is no better therapy than talking to loved ones at the end of a hectic day.
  • Eat healthy– Good wholesome food leads to good mood
  • Be positive – Positive thoughts attract positive attitude and behaviour from those around you
  • Pursue hobby – Nurture your passion and see how life starts looking up!

This year’s focus on Mental Health at workplace indicates towards pressing need to ensure happiness of employees for better productivity.

Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!




When a newborn arrives, everybody’s focus is on the baby showering them with blessings and affection. How often have a you asked the newborn mother as to how does she feel ? Although we know that it is hard for that tiny newborn to adjust with the world around, it is equally or even more stressful for a new mother to cope with the change. Especially because her hormones are creating a havoc and preventing her from bonding with her baby the way she should or is expected to.

The new mother is often  depressed and feeling very very low. We have to admit that the perinatal period (from pregnancy to one year after  childbirth) is not very joyful but indeed a painful time for the mother. It is mentally, physically and psychologically draining experience.  The incidence of depression is higher in developing countries and in severe cases mothers can cause serious harm to themselves and their babies.

Identifying mothers at risk

If we can identify early signs of depression in women, then efforts can be made to improve mental health and ensure a smooth first year of life, both for the mother and the infant

  • Depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy
  • Difficult pregnancy due to stressful life event
  • Low levels of social support (e.g husband, family, in-laws, etc )
  • Low self-esteem which may be associated with body image , social pressures, etc
  • Stress of child care and inability to cope
  • Strained marital relationship
  • Unplanned/unwanted pregnancy
  • History of miscarriage
  • Knowing that it is a girl child (especially if there is no son)

Impact on newborn

It is indeed a surprising revelation that sometimes there can be a huge disconnect between mother and child because of postpartum depression in the mother which was unrecognized and untreated. The period from pregnancy to first year of life is a crucial phase of bonding between the two and it lays the foundation for life of the newborn and has implications on their emotional and physical interactions with the World as an adult.

  • Depression in pregnancy impairs growth of the foetus and can lead to low birth weights and small for gestational age babies
  • Pre‐term deliveries and shorter gestations have also been associated with depressive symptoms
  • Depression in mother hinders the bonding process and could last for a lifetime
  • There is long term emotional, cognitive and intellectual problem in the child
  • Children of depressed mothers tend to be malnourished and have overall poor physical health
  • Developmental delays are observed in such infants right from 18 months
  • Children of depressed mother could exhibit aggression or antisocial behaviour
  • Negative behavioural indicators such as more irritability, less activity, less attentiveness and fewer facial expression is seen in children of depressed mothers
  • Girl child of a depressed mother may grow up to have low self esteem and hatred towards opposite sex

The expression “motherly feeling” implies a sacred, precious and unconditional bond of love. But, this can truly materialize only when the perinatal period is made easy and pleasant for the mother. Depression in the mother can have devastating impact on the child as well as increase morbidity and mortality in the mother.

The solution to this is simply love, affection and care. We need to tell a pregnant woman that she is looking beautiful , she is doing absolutely the right things for her baby, and that she will be a great MOM! Also, post-delivery support and care from husband is most critical to the bonding of the entire family and its healthy propagation. Instead of just looking out for the baby’s physical needs, one must take time to address the mother’s fears, anxiety, apprehensions and overall mental health. Creating the right environment for nurturing the mother-child bond is vital to the building of a mentally and physically healthy Nation!