Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
A study by Assocham showed that nearly 43 per cent of employees in the private sector in India suffer from mental health issues at work. Also, a WHO report in 2017 found out that 18 per cent of global depression cases originate from India.
While mental health issues in the workplace are a reality for most companies, the stigma associated with mental health problems often prevents people from seeking help. Stigma is the result of negative perceptions and stereotypes and reflects a lack of understanding about mental health issues. External stigma often involves negative opinions, judgements, comments, and assumptions made by others; internal stigma can take place when the person affected by mental illness internalises these negative messages.
Why Stigma a Major Problem?
Though most mental health problems are common and treatable, the stigma or negative stereotypes associated with mental illness often forces employees to not talk about the issue. Even in workplaces that are quite progressive, several employees keep their mental health issues under wraps fearing that being open to talk about them will hurt their reputation, compromise work relationships, or even put their job at risk.
Employees with untreated mental health issues tend to have more serious and costly health issues in general. For instance, their risk of heart attacks and strokes is twice as high, and people with mental health issues are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This all adds up to missed work days and a loss in productivity that can significantly affect the performance of organisations.
The stigma or negative stereotypes associated with mental illness often forces employees to not talk about the issue.Photo by Flickr
How Organisations can Remove Stigma from their Workplaces?
Helping to improve mental health and well-being at work is not only beneficial to employees but also the company and society at large. Here are some ways organisations can remove the stigma surrounding mental health:
1. Awareness and Open Discussions
The more people are aware of mental health issues and the challenges faced by people with mental health problems, the less powerful stigma becomes. Through education on mental health, companies can reduce stigma, discrimination, negative stereotypes, and fear in the workplace. Also, it is essential to create safe spaces for employees to talk about their own challenges without the fear of being "judged". Employees shouldn't fear that they will be excluded if they open up in this way. Leaders can set the tone for this by sharing their own experiences.
2. More Attention towards Language
It is common practice across different organisations to address people with mental health disorders with words like "Downy", "Scary", "Schizo". This can contribute significantly towards stigmatising mental health conditions. It is time to put an end to such practice and adopt practices that reduce prejudice, discrimination, and stigma against people suffering from mental health issues.
3. Increasing Access to Resources and Programs
Many organisations use employee assistance programmes (EAP) to support workplace mental health. Some employees may be reluctant to use this resource due to shame and lack of understanding, but they can go a long way in creating a workplace that values every individual equally and creates no discrimination or stigma. Companies can also provide direct access to mental health resources, apps, and even mental health professionals that can make employees feel supported and cared for.
4. Mental Health Training
It is crucial for every company to promote a culture that values every employee and understands that it's normal to suffer from mental health conditions. Mental health training for employees can help them recognise the signs of someone who may be struggling with a mental health challenge and connect them to support resources. Through plays and other activities, they can offer guidance on how to listen non-judgmentally, offer reassurance, and assess the risk of suicide or self-harm.
Making mental health stigma a thing of the past is the need of the hour for organisations. The common human connection that every person shares with another person is more important than what separates us. Everyone struggles with doubt and anxiety. However, empathy is vital to see that common ground and build on it to create opportunity and hope for all. (IANS/JB)
(Prakriti Poddar, Director, Poddar Wellness Ltd.)
Keywords: Health, Workplace, Mental Health.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Toxic Wastes)
Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.
When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.
The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: laundry, appliances, beeping, running water, Sound, Alexa , Amazon)
By Olivia Sarkar
Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.
Dirty Chai Eggnog:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Sweet cream foam to top up
Cinnamon powder and star anise.
1. In a heavy bottomed med sauce pot, prepare tea with milk. Strain and let it cool.
2. In a cocktail shaker add egg white, Bourbon, Baileys with whole spices. Shake well.
3. Pour the tea in the glass followed by ingredients from cocktail shaker.
4. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon powder, whole star anise
Eggnog is a Christmas favourite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity.| Pikist
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavours is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter.
45 ml Butter fat washed Whiskey
20 ml Ginger bread syrup
15 ml Spiced Apple liquor
2 dashes of Bitters
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Shake well
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass
4. Garnish with Gingerbread cookie
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavors is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter. | Flickr
(Keywords: Santa's Apple, Egg Nogs, December, Cocktail, Cocktail, Christmas, holiday, celebrations)