One in every seven Indian workers suffers from mental health and well-being issues
One out of every seven Indian workers is afflicted by mental health and well-being issues, and it is time that India achieved a comprehensive understanding of the psychological risk landscape followed by concentrated and concrete action.
Indian experts working with the International SOS, the world’s leading health and security risk services company are of the view that organizations would do well to reassess their employee health and well-being strategies to identify gaps and fill them.
Dr Vikram Vora, medical director at International S0S, believes that “Employers, leaders, and managers need to be aware and accept that the rapidly evolving world of today, especially after the pandemic, is no longer a place where employees feel naturally safe and protected. Problems like economic uncertainty, uncertain employment, growing infectious diseases, climate anxiety, and geopolitical crises, expose employees to unforeseen risks. Organizations would do well to reassess their employee health and well-being strategies to identify gaps and fill them in the quickest possible time.”
Dr Vora said, “The continuum for workers with mental ill-being encompasses awareness, de-stigmatization, identification, address, rehabilitation, and mainstream re-integration. Programs that include these steps have the highest likelihood of making a difference to employee lives.”
The International SOS puts a spotlight on the increasing importance of mental health resilience for global workforces. In a global landscape in which there are ongoing poly- and permacrises, the impact of these challenges on the mental health of employees has never been more significant. A global pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, geopolitical challenges, and the accelerating rate of change in today’s workplace have placed unprecedented stressors on individuals and organizations worldwide.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that 15% of working-age adults lived with a mental disorder in 2019, and 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety alone.
International SOS Assistance Centre has already seen a 5% increase in the number of requests for assistance related to mental illness during the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
Poor working environments, including discrimination and inequality, excessive workloads, low job control, and job insecurity all pose a risk to mental health. Without effective support, mental illness can impact an individual’s capacity to work productively, absences, and the ease with which they can retain or gain work.
Dr Oliver Harrison, CEO, Koa Health, a mental health care provider, said “We live in challenging times, with cost-of-living pressures worldwide, recovery from the pandemic and conflict in Europe against a backdrop of the climate crisis. In this context, mental health resilience has become a critical matter for organizations, public and private. With the shortage of mental healthcare professionals reaching record highs, even those employees with a clinical diagnosis struggle to access the support they need.”
The IOS helps organizations with guidance on safeguarding the mental health and well-being of their employees through mental health awareness campaigns, provides resources and counseling, training, monitors and assesses, and carries out employee assistance programs.