Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 10 Oct 2017 World Mental Health ...

World Mental Health Day: Improving mental health at workplace aids growth

Published Oct 10, 2017, 1:22 am IST
Updated Oct 10, 2017, 2:06 am IST
Around 48 per cent participants in Chennai suffered from extremely high stress levels, with a major factor being issues at workplace.
Representational image
 Representational image

Chennai: Mental health at workplace is affected by various factors such as conflicts, poor interpersonal relationship, competition and not just work stress.
With a large portion of working population being in the grip of mental illness, World Mental Health Day focuses on improving mental health at workplace, need to curb the stigma related to it and help people share their problems with colleagues.

While there are many mental illnesses that affect the working population, psychologists say that various stages of depression, anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders are some of the most common issues affecting mental health at workplace in Chennai.


“Relationship issues with superiors, colleagues, poor work family balance, performance pressure, job insecurity, over burden and work place harassment are common issues that lead to depression and distress. But, it is not only the job and work pressure that is a stressor, even a positive event like role transition such as promotion, new responsibility are also stressors and affect mental health,” said Dr Vivian Kapil, consultant psychiatrist, SIMS.

“Poor mental health leads to distress in employees and in turn hampers their performance and ultimately the organization,” he adds.


As per a recent survey conducted by the Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, around 48 per cent participants in Chennai suffered from extremely high stress levels, with a major factor being issues at workplace.  

“Though depression has a higher intensity of stress, it impacts the physical health also. Weight gain or weight loss, loss of appetite, multiple somatic complaints reduced immune system and loss of concentration are the primary symptoms,” said Dr Nethra Balasubramaniam, counseling psychologist, Fortis Malar.


A negative working environment can also lead to alcoholism, absenteeism and lost productivity. Renowned psychologist Anna Chary suggests that we need to adopt coping skills in tackling stress and seek help of professionals like Psychiatrists.

“The stigma related to mental health persists even till day and we need to remove it to be able to fight against mental disorders. Its not that an individual is mad, if he has mental illness and can reach out to colleagues and friends for help at workplace. Organizations should encourage employees to seek help of professionals who can help with stress management techniques, coping skills training, awareness talks and get them consulted, if necessary,” said Anna Chary.


Work from home is cool but unhealthy

Though the concept of work from home or remote work option is seen as a convenient way of working, nearly 40 per cent of the population suffers from a constant state of sleeplessness. While the common age for sleep apnea is anywhere upwards of 60 years, recently doctors are witnessing an increase in this disease among young working population.

Owing to long work hours and stressful work conditions, many young employees opt for remote work option (popularly known as work from home) for better work life balance. However, the same gets derailed as they loose sense of time, over work and get depressed with monotonous work.