1 in every 2 Indian corporate employees at high risk for poor mental health: Survey
The global need for mental health awareness remains a challenge even in 2023. Mental health issues and psychological disorders are rising worldwide and places a major burden on society. A new survey conducted by market research firm IPSOS is bringing the topic into sharp focus.
About 1 in every 2 corporate employees is at a high risk of poor mental health, according to a survey conducted by Mpower, an initiative by The Aditya Birla Education Trust, in collaboration with IPSOS. The poll covered 3,000 corporate employees from eight Indian cities and 10 sectors, including e-commerce, FMCG and hospitality.
The survey also showed that nearly eight in 10 employees have skipped work for at least two weeks in the past year due to mental fatigue and nine out of 10 employees feel they lack a work-life balance. It also found that female employees are more prone to mental health issues than men, with 56 per cent of women being at risk as compared to just 41 per cent of men. One of the major reasons identified for this is that female employees feel they face more gender bias and stereotyping.
"A lot of people that come to me say they are working odd hours, their family life is suffering. They don't have time for themselves. Clinically we are seeing all of that and the impact that it is having but I think for us also it was quite startling that people are now vocalising that they felt they didn't have work-life balance," says Dr Sapna Bangar, Psychiatrist & Head, Mpower Centre.
Four predominant factors that affect mental health at the workplace are:
Work-related stress including long working hours without breaks
Problems on the home front
Anxiety over finances
Physical health-related concerns
Half of the survey respondents said they were not satisfied with their salaries and nearly 70 per cent felt they are expected to work even when on vacation.
Experts say the survey highlights the pressing need for employers to create a safer work environment, identify early signs of poor mental health among employees, and normalise mental health leaves.
"Start the correct work culture. Create a safe work environment where mental health is not stigmatised. Have a mental health relief policy. Encourage people to talk about mental health so it's not stigmatised," says Parveen Shaikh, VP - Operations, Mpower.
"What they need to stop doing is judgement. For example, when someone says I'm really upset and if people say ‘go walk’. Stop doing that. Stop that judgment. Stop giving those unscientific solutions to somebody's problems."