Why mental well-being at the workplace matters

Why mental well-being at the workplace matters

A negative work environment can trigger physical and mental health problems. It can also push someone towards substance abuse or alcoholism and also can affect productivity of an employee or individual.

To highlight the importance of mental health at the workplace, the theme for the World Mental Health Week 2017 is ‘Mental Health at Workplace,’ October 04 to10 has been marked as World Mental Health Week this year.

Many studies suggest that Indians are stressed due to work related issues. According to a survey done by Harvard Business Review (HBR) Ascend, excessive workload and office politics are the biggest barriers to effective performance for Indians.

For this study approximately 1,700 responses (aged 18 to 34 years) were representative of various industries in India. Another research done by Mintel suggested that over one in five Indians aged between 18 and 64 (22 per cent) are concerned about being tired more than anything else. It is because of Indians are overworked and this is affecting their physical and mental well-being.

Dr Niti Sapru President Bombay Psychiatric Association said that we need to speak more openly about the mental health to make people realise its importance.

“Our society doesn’t give much importance to the mental health issues. There is also a stigma attached to the mental disorders. If we speak more openly, we will able to create a system which is sensitive towards this cause,” Dr Sapru said.

“Work forms a very important part of our daily life and a sense of self. A mentally healthy work force means a healthy workplace; and a healthy workplace is more productive and efficient,” said Dr Mansi Jain, Consultant Psychiatrist, Suasth Onestep Clinic.

“Unpleasant work place will cause stress which usually tends to spill over in other aspect of our personal life,” Dr Jain added.

She listed lifestyle diseases which are associated with long stressful working hours.

Work stress can result in- multiple lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, sleep disturbance, alcohol use and clinical depression

Adult life is all about managing family and work life. Dr Kersi Chavda, consultant psychiatric at P.D. Hinduja Hospital said that it is important to prioritise our responsibilities.

He also put onus on the senior post holders in the office to maintain positive environment.

“Those handling senior posts at the workplace should keep try to create positivity amongst their team members. It will help to preserve positivity at the workplace,” Dr Chavda said.

What can be done have healthy mind at work:

  • Choose a profession which you like
  • Do what you love and it will not seem like a chore
  • Balance work and personal life
  • Keep fixed working hours
  • Do not carry work stress or problems from office to home
  • Give separate time for hobbies or leisure activities

With inputs from Dr Mansi Jain