Mental health at the workplace

Mental health at the workplace.

Mental Health

Millions of people worldwide suffer from mental health issues at work; while it impacts an individual’s well-being, it has a ripple effect on their families, friends, and close groups.

Table of Contents:

  • What is corporate mental health?
  • What affects mental health in the workplace?
  • Importance of Mental Wellness in the Corporate World.
  • Five ways companies are practicing mental well-being for their employees.

According to Forbes Health, there has been a steep increase of 28% in depressive disorder cases, which were reported last year worldwide. It grew from a base of 193 million people to 246 million people worldwide. At the same time, anxiety disorder shows an increase of 25%, with cases increasing from 298 people to 374 people during the year worldwide.

These figures might look alarming, but these are just the reported numbers, and therefore the proportion of people suffering from mental health issues might be much bigger than this, as in many cases, people suffering from mental health disorders do not come ahead for treatment.

A recent survey done worldwide indicates that employees are increasingly feeling burned out and anxious, highlighting that there is an urgent need to address the mental health of employees.

As per Microsoft’s 2020 Work Trend Index, India is one of the top countries facing anxiety and stress issues at work.

According to recent Assocham reports, 42.5 percent of Indian corporate employees are suffering from generalized anxiety disorder or depression. The uncertainty around economic conditions, work stress, and lack of work-life balance have taken a toll on the mental health of employees. The age group below 30 years is reported to have a poorer work-life balance than other age groups.

As per The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey, 68% of senior HR leaders are prioritizing employee well-being and mental health. 

Corporate mental health is a confidential program focusing on providing psychological intervention services to employees having mental health issues in the workplace. The employees are given a platform where they can freely discuss their worries and apprehensions with the counsellor. This enables the counsellor to gauge the situation and help the employee with practical solutions to the issues affecting the mental well-being of the employee.

What affects mental health in the workplace?

An employee’s mental well-being can be affected by several factors at the workplace. Most common of all is work-related stress, which can augment and worsen an existing mental health condition. Other factors affecting employees are:

  • Excessive workload or understaffing.

  • Poor physical work conditions.

  • Long, inflexible work hours.

  • Lack of appreciation.

  • Limited support from managers and colleagues.

  • Stagnant work culture.

Importance of Mental Wellness in the Corporate World.

The mental health of employees is important for a company in many ways.

Firstly, employees who have good mental health are more likely to be more productive, motivated, and engaged at work. They are also less likely to take off from work due to mental health issues, which reduces absenteeism and increases overall productivity.

Secondly, organizations that prioritize the mental well-being of their employees can create a positive work culture that attracts and retains good talented individuals.

Thirdly, promoting mental health can reduce healthcare costs associated with mental health issues for the organization.

Finally, creating a conducive and positive environment for its employee is the right thing to do, as the responsibility for the well-being of employees lies majorly with the organization.

Five ways companies are practicing mental well-being for their employees.

  1. Review existing policies: Before a company changes the employee well-being-related policy, it is crucial to review the current practices and standards that are being followed. Employee expectations should be known while formulating new policies, and surveys of employees can be taken for this purpose. 

  1. Mental health cover inclusion in health insurance plan: The new age health insurance providers are including mental illness coverage in the health insurance plan and providing mental wellness sessions and related workshops so employees can learn about mental health challenges and how to deal with them. There are group health insurances that include maintenance and preventive care of good mental health.         

  1. Invest in mental health programs: Mental health programs create awareness among the employees about mental challenges and way out. In addition, companies should train their managers to identify any sign of distress in employees and to be empathetic towards it.    

  1. Promote a positive culture: Companies should build a culture where employees are encouraged to strike a good balance between work and life. Employees should be trusted for their decisions; they feel valued when trusted. A toxic environment at the workplace may impact employees’ mental well-being. Therefore, a positive culture should be created.

  1. Reducing the stigma around Mental Health: There are a lot of stigmas around mental well-being, and employees restrain from discussing the same. Companies should discuss mental health frequently so that employees are aware that their company values their mental health.

A workplace that is welcoming to the employees has a positive impact on its employee’s mental well-being. Creating thoughtful spaces for employees to be open about their concerns and build connections with others can reduce mental health issues at the workplace. A happy Work Place and happy Employee ultimately go hand in hand.