World Mental Health Day 2017: Why Maintaining Mental Health In The Workplace Is Important

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| October 10 , 2017 , 14:12 IST

Mental health issues often go unreported and undiagnosed due to the stigma surrounding them, resulting in suicides, homicides, addictions and physiological consequences. To increase awareness of mental health issues around the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated October 10 as 'World Mental Health Day'.

The theme for the World Mental Health Day 2017 is 'Mental Health In The Workplace' which addresses a key aspect of psychological issues, and reaches out to those suffering from mental health issues but keep it hidden.

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With the cost of living increasing, and women joining the workforce, there are more and more people spending large portions of their time at the workplace. The competition that qualified candidates face simply to secure a job gives rise to plenty of stress and even depression in the applicants. However, even after being hired, the pressures do not end.

Competition, pressure to meet deadlines, interpersonal issues with bosses and colleagues, are some of the factors that contribute to the stress people face at the workplace. For people already suffering from mental disorders such as bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, working is a big step and they feel pressured to keep their illness hidden so that they do not face stigma.

As a result of office stress and pressures, absenteeism can increase, the productivity of the employees can get hampered and they may be driven to the addiction of harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Outbursts are more likely as are stress-related physiological issues like stomache problems and headaches.

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While the employees themselves can make attempts to keep their mental health positive in the workplace, the onus also lies on the workplace. Workers can use calming techniques, meditation, positive conflict resolution, a healthy diet and proper exercise to stay positive.

Workplaces can strive to provide counselling services to stressed employees, train managers to use positive techniques to enhance work productivity and launch initiatives to highlight the importance of mental health at the workplace.

Providing a positive workplace environment has several benefits for the workplace as well. Calm and happy workers are more productive, creative and proactive. They are more likely to give their 110 percent to their employers and remain loyal to their respective companies.