mid-day editorial: Working towards better mental health

Oct 09, 2017, 06:07 IST | mid-day correspondent

Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day. In the last few years, mental health awareness has been making its way into the consciousness of the nation

Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day. In the last few years, mental health awareness has been making its way into the consciousness of the nation. Slowly but surely, it has started appearing on the radar of the common man.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that theme for this year is 'Mental health in the workplace'. Its website states that 'Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health, and to support employees who have mental disorders, see gains not only in the health of their employees, but also in their productivity at work.' A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to health problems, abuse of alcohol or substances, and lost productivity.

In Mumbai we have just read about two 'mystery' deaths of young achievers. A young musician plunged from a 12th floor apartment a couple of weeks ago, while a young woman fell from a local train. Investigations are yet to rule out suicide.

Today, schools and colleges do give students recourse to counsellors. Workplaces may have certain departments looking after employees' welfare, but maybe it is time for corporates to focus on mental health as well. In today's rush-or-get-crushed world, the workplace has become a stressful place, particularly for younger employees, who may no longer be given the same leeway and time to pick up the required skills. Employees, both junior and senior, need some avenue within the workplace to address the pressure they are under.

Even as workplaces are more responsible while striving for gender-neutral environments and CSR initiatives, it is time to add mental health to the list as well. What better time to take the first step than on World Mental Health Day?

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