by The Welthi Bureau | 10 OCT 2017
Q1. How workplace stress/ pressures contribute to mental health issues?
Ans . he World Health Organization (WHO) defines workplace stress as the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope'.
It can be further elaborated that it can be caused by poor work organisation like the manner in which the job and work systems are designed and the way they are managed.
Poor work design: lack of control over work processes.
Poor management: unsatisfactory working condition and lack of support from colleageues and supervisors.
As per a study conducted across 35 countries, including India:
two-third employees who suffered depression either faced discrimination at work or while applying for jobs.
These perceived and anticipated discrimination can be categorized as the major causes for people suffering silently at workplaces and being hesitant to seek proper care and counselling. Alongside this, sexual harassment and bullying at workplace is another serious matter of concern which contributes to stress among the employees.
Q2. What are the steps/ measures to be taken by organisations/ companies to mitigate the risk of mental health issues among employees?
Ans . Organisations need to be made aware about the basic reasons behind the mental health issue among employees. They need to encourage staff to maintain a good work-life balance and should take active measures to ensure that the workplace is a safe and secure place for all employees.
Moreover, in case an employee is suffering from certain mental health issues, the organisation should support and encourage them to seek appropriate mental health care and counselling. It should also create a healthy environment where employees are comfortable discussing their issues with appropriate staff within the organisation, so that issues can be identified early and severe mental health issues can be avoided.
Evidence shows that no single intervention can work in isolation and it is recommended to have a group of interventions, which are available for those in need. 3 Interventions like promoting physical activity, cognitive behaviour therapy and stress management have shown positive impact in mitigating mental health issues among employees. Moreover, workplace screening for mental disorders followed by access to basic mental health services has been found to be effective, but could lead to potential increase in anxiety levels in those who are screened as false positives, so routine screening at workplace is not recommended.
Q3. What should an employee do if he/ she feels that they are suffering from certain mental health issues?
Ans . They should seek treatment from a professional. Revealing details about treatment are not mandatory and no organization can ask for such. However, if sick leaves are availed then a doctor’s certificate may be necessary. As long as an employee is performing, an organization should have no problems about the reason for one’s illness and any such details should be treated with the strictest confidence.
If the organization is supportive, then the employee can also speak to the HR and seek any support available through the organization.
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