The objective is to raise awareness about mental health around the world and mobilize efforts in support of mental health globally.
By Pooja Priyamvada
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year. The objective is to raise awareness about mental health around the world and mobilize efforts in support of mental health globally. This year, the theme is Suicide Prevention. Employers often can play a crucial role in preventing suicide in the workforce.
Research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that anxiety and depressive disorders cost a loss of more than a trillion dollars worldwide each year. Hence it is in the interest of establishments of all nature to take care of the mental health of their workers and employees.
Generally, employers do not believe that invisible conditions like stress, anxiety, and/or depression are valid causes for missing work. Sometimes employees feel that if they seek support or a day off for mental health it is not taken kindly at the workplace. Hence people have a better chance of getting leave and support of they lie and fake a physical condition as common as flu to take a break but not a mental health condition like anxiety though it could prove to be debilitating and painful too.
World Mental Health Day is an apt occasion to start conversations about mental health in workplaces, plan small events like peer support groups and art therapy session where trust is built and reinforced among co-workers and employees feel that their workplace is a safe and open place that will offer “suitable accommodation” to their invisible pain.
Mental Health Foundation UK is working this year on the theme of supporting good mental health in the workplace. Allowing employees to commemorate mental health day will allow them to recharge, reset their perspective, and allow their bodies and minds to rest. The focus should also be made to asses problem areas causing stress to people in the workplace and risk management.
Mental health crisis not just affects workers work performance and behaviour in the workplace-but sometimes even cause physical ailments like hypertension, headaches etc. Organizational heads and employees need to now make a combined commitment for safety and mental health safety measures in the workplace.
(Pooja Priyamvada is a social media enthusiast, columnist and blogger on mental health and related issues. Views expressed are the author’s own.)