Here’s some food for thought – the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by the year 2020, 20% of India’s population will suffer from mental health issues. A significant portion of this number will be India’s workforce! The mental health of employees is indeed a burning issue in corporate India!
Untreated mental disorders (in employees and their family members) often result in diminished productivity and increased welfare payments.
However, not enough is being done to tackle this pressing problem!
President Ram Nath Kovind in the 22nd convocation address at NIMHANS in December 2017 pointed out that the number of people in India suffering from emotional health issues “was greater than the population of Japan”. He warned that India could soon be facing a mental health epidemic.
A 2015 ASSOCHAM study suggested that 42.5% of employees in the corporate sector suffer from either depression or general anxiety disorder.
A highly competitive work environment and pressures at the workplace can trigger stress and anxiety! A Wall Street Journal report from 2016 found that Indian millennials spend an average of 52 hours a week at work – more time than their counterparts in 25 other countries!
Workplace mental health is truly at a tipping point and requires being in the spotlight.
The effect of emotional health on lost productivity
A World Economic Forum/Harvard School of Public Health study indicated that the cumulative global impact of mental disorders in terms of lost economic output will amount to $16.3 trillion between 2011 and 2030. In India, mental illness is estimated to cost $1.03 trillion (22% of economic output) between 2012 and 2030.
But there’s good news, evidence shows that treating anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions is an affordable and effective way to promote well-being and increase productivity. Companies world over have now begun to address this problem and you should too.
Suggestions to tackle this crisis at the workplace
Good mental health enables people to realize their full potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their communities.