"Mental health in the workplace" is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017. World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year, with the objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilising efforts in support of better mental health.

With the rise in the cost of living, both husband and wife need to work to meet the expenses of the household.Cost of education has skyrocketed and this adds to the woes of the couple. With increasing competition, work hours have increased, there is a lot of work pressure to meet the targets. Most of the adults awake hours are spent at their workplace. So workplace environment plays an important role in the physical and the mental health of an individual.

Common workplace issues faced are

  • Long and irregular working hours
  • Competition at workplace
  • Pressure to achieve targets
  • Critical comments by superiors
  • Office politics 
  • Gender Bias
  • Disparities in remuneration 
  • Poor family and social life for migrants from another city
  • Difficulties  getting leaves 
  • Working in the area which is different from one's expertise.

Many of them are able to cope up with the above-mentioned issues, but some of them resort to smoking, drinking as a means to relax or relieve the work pressure. Some others displace their work anger on their family, which can lead to disturbed interpersonal relations in the long term. A few others suffer family conflicts due to not able to give enough time to their near and dear ones.

Mental health at the workplace is especially important for people in occupations like bus drivers, pilots, train drivers, doctors, nurses, workers operating heavy machinery etc.

Just as employers take care of the physical health of its employees by medical reimbursements, gymnasiums at the workplace, ensuring the mental well-being of its employee too should be a priority. Especially identifying employees with problems related to heavy smoking and drinking , those with adjustment problems, people going through personal crisis etc..  Employers should  promote positive mental health in employers through various means identifying the above-mentioned work stressors and trying to address these on a priority basis, have work-place counsellors and committees especially to address sensitive issues like gender bias, mental harassment.

On individual basis, we can try the following measures

  • Be empathetic towards over  work colleagues
  • Try to  maintain cordial relationships with work-colleagues
  •  Plan non-work, leisure activities at regular intervals to destress.
  • Stay away from gossips and avoid prejudices
  • Improve your assertive skills to avoid being overburdened at work.
  • Learn alternate relaxation strategies like yoga, brisk walking, meditation, hobbies, dance or art classes
  • Gradually build expertise in your area of work
  • Learn time management strategies to maintain better work and life balance
  • Avoid procrastination and learn to prioritise
  • Set relevant short and long term goals for career growth

Just as good health is needed for work success, similarly work satisfaction and growth too predicts good health. So tackling work-issues at the right time with the help of the strategies listed above can improve the overall quality of life.