Mental Health – What it really is

Mental health deals with mental and emotional wellness, which simply put is the quality of our thoughts and emotions and how they impact the way we function. It is a concept that is often misunderstood due to the lack of information and taboos associated with the same. Humans are wired to respond to experiences in a certain way; feeling happy when life is good and despondent when faced with life’s many challenges. And because many situations in life arrive without a choice, it is extremely important to be aware of the options we have while handling them in the best way possible.

Corporate front – Factors responsible for mental health concerns

In today’s corporate front, several factors play a role in causing emotional and mental concerns to employees. It could be that your boss had to quit the job. This takes away the support you had been receiving from your boss, which can cause unnecessary stress and can evolve into more serious mental health concerns. Here are a few more factors:

  • Lack of financial stability:One of the reasons might be the result of not being able to plan and manage the financial resources well. Another could be a low basic pay. In which case, the employee tries to achieve the bonus targets to receive the additional bonus pay. And not meeting the bonus targets can cause stress and pressure.
  • Unreasonable work timings:This can lead to work-life imbalance. Spending excess time at work can make the employee sleep deprived, which in turn affects the employee’s performance, which further reflects in the bad performance review.
  • Work cultures that are not friendly: Difficult co-workers who cause unnecessary conflicts can lead to stress and anxiety. It is important to have a work culture where employees can voice out easily.
  • Work environments that are not healthy: Proper lighting, adequate spacing and good vents are some of the aspects that influence the employee’s physical wellbeing. In addition to which, good interiors are important for reducing stress and increasing productivity.
  • Mismatch in the skillset: A conflict in the skills required to perform the job and the actual skills of the employee can play a role in the performance the employee intends to deliver. The employee’s job role being different from what the employee had applied for can cause stress and depression.
  • A need for career change:Several reasons could call for a career change. One of them could be the need for creative freedom. Allowing the employees to express their creativity and guiding them through constructive feedback might enable them to stick to a single career for a longer duration.

Corporate front – Correlation between mental health concerns and the risk of suicide

One of the unfortunate effects of a lack of mental awareness and assistance is suicide. It is an extreme case of helplessness which is usually a result of not getting the required assistance in time. Depression, addiction and conflicts in the personal front could be some of the reasons. In addition to which, working in high-pressure environments could also be a reason. In which case, creating an environment where mental health concerns could be openly spoken about is necessary. This calls for creating a proper awareness that talks about the various assistance options that are available. Below are a few insights gained at the Corporate Health Summit 2019.

  • Statistics show that 35 out of every 1 lakh employees demonstrate some level of suicidal tendencies.
  • In 80% of the suicide cases, the employees had given clues about their intended plans of ending their lives. There were clear signs such as – feeling helpless, feeling hopeless, feeling let down, actions of making a will, talking about going far away, etc. This being a cry for help, it’s important for others who notice it to offer the possible support.
  • Most employees are unable to ask for help. This in turn can lead to a feeling of helplessness to a problem that might otherwise have a simple solution.

In scenarios like suicides, it’s important to understand the context from a broader perspective and analyze all the factors that are responsible for this extreme step.

Measures that can help an organization solve mental health concerns

The solutions to mental health concerns on the corporate front mainly focus on two important aspects – work satisfaction & mental health awareness.

Work satisfaction:

  • Incorporating an Employee Wellness Strategy that is holistic. One that focuses on all wellness aspects: financial, mental, emotional and physical.
  • Ensuring work-life balance by following a 5 day week with reasonable work timings.
  • Organizing fun activities as a part of the Employee Engagement Programs.
  • Providing options to switch career roles within the organization.
  • Special manager assist programs to help middle and senior-level management deal with stress and anger management.

Mental health awareness:

  • Educating employees on mental health awareness to sensitize the workforce.
  • Offering Employee Assistance Programs that allow employees to avail the required assistance in the preferred manner – in person, video call, audio call, chat.
  • Keeping the assistance helpline open 24X7.

Mental wellness is a fragile topic that needs to be addressed and resolved with care. And creating the right mental health awareness might be the first step in helping people realize the areas of their lives that are still in their complete control. Wellbeing on the Web is a digital solution for your workforce’s health across all the pillars of wellness. It includes EAP services and mental health awareness programs to help your employees take back control of their wellbeing.

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