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.

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