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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.
As we might have observed, generations are now divided into various categories based on ages. In fact, according to the year in which people are born, many characteristics have started being associated with them.
Therefore, let us know the different kinds generations through this article and also the characteristics which each generation possess.
The Depression Era (1912-1921)
It is believed that the individuals born in the Depression era tend to be conservative, compulsive savers, maintain low debt. Also, they use more secure financial products like CDs versus stocks. These individuals also feel the responsibility to leave a legacy to their
children. Not only this, individuals born in this era tend to be patriotic, oriented towards work before pleasure, respect their authority, and have a sense of moral obligation.
World War II (1922-1927)
It is believed that people in this cohort shared a common goal of defeating the Axis
powers. In fact, there was an accepted sense of "deferment" among this group.
Post-War Cohort (1928-1945)
After the war ended, this generation was given significant amount of opportunities in jobs and education and even a post-war economic boom struck the United States of America. But, the growth in Cold War tensions and the potential for nuclear wars led to levels of discomfort and uncertainty throughout the generation. At the same time, members of this group
value security, comfort, and familiar known activities and environments.
Boomers I or The Baby Boomers (1946-1954)The first Boomer segment
Interestingly, this generation is bounded by Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. At the same time, Boomers I were either a part of the war or protested against the War. Also, it is believed that Boomers I had good economic opportunities and were largely optimistic about the potential of the United States of America and their own lives.
Boomers II or Generation Jones (1955-1965)
This generation faced a lot of economic struggles, including the oil embargo of 1979 which reinforced a sense of "I'm out for me" and narcissism. Also, the focus on self-help and skepticism over media and institutions is one of the representative of attitudes of this cohort. In fact, the youngest members of the
Boomer II generation did not have the benefits of the Boomer I class as many of the best jobs, opportunities, housing etc. were taken by the larger and earlier group. Therefore, both Gen X and Boomer II suffered the long shadow cast by
Generation X (1967-1976)
Sometimes this generation is referred to as the "lost" generation, and this was the first generation of "latchkey" kids, who were exposed to lots of daycare and divorce. Also, this generation is known with the lowest voting participation rate of any generation. Not only this, but Generation X is often characterized by high levels of skepticism, i.e. "what's in it for me" attitude. Individuals from this generation are arguably the best-educated generation with 29% obtaining a bachelor's degree or higher (6% higher than the previous cohort). And, with that education and growing maturity, they are starting to form families with a higher level of caution.
Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums (1977-1994)
The people from this generation are known as incredibly sophisticated, technology-wise, immune to most traditional marketing and sales pitches. Also, Generation Y members are much more racially and ethnically diverse, and they are much more segmented as an audience aided by the rapid expansion in Cable TV channels, satellite radio, the Internet, e-zines, etc. It is also noted that individuals from this generation are less brand loyal.
Generation Z (1995-2012)
Though, as of now, we don't know much about Generation Z, but we know a lot about the environment they are growing up in. Therefore, this highly diverse environment will make the grade schools of the next generation the most diverse ever. Higher levels of technology will make a significant impact on academics. Not only this, individuals from Generation Z will grow up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment, and will be more Internet savvy.
Keywords: Generation, People, World, Statistics, Psychology, Society.
Mental illnesses can be hard to diagnose in children despite them being common among children. One out of six children suffers from a mental disorder. Mental health refers to the overall wellness of how an individual thinks, regulates their feelings and behaves. A mental illness, or mental disorder, is defined as patterns or changes in thinking, feeling, or behaving that cause distress or disrupt a person's ability to function. Mental health disorders in children are generally defined as disruptions in developing age-appropriate thinking, behaviours, social skills, or regulating their emotions. These problems are distressing to children and disrupt their ability to function well at home, in school, or in other social settings.
Common Mental Disorders in Children
Mental illnesses can be caused due to inheriting mental illness from parents, biological chemical disbalance in the brain, psychological trauma, being exposed to an environmental stressor.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders in children which can continue into adulthood. When children suffer from ADHD they have problems paying attention, staying focused on certain tasks and they might struggle with controlling their energy level and behaviour. Some children with ADHD are also hyperactive and may have trouble being patient and sitting still. These children can't seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and tend to be more impulsive in nature.
An anxiety disorder is a term that is used to refer to a variety of mental health problems that may cause children to be fearful, distressed, excessively worried and uneasy. Children with anxiety disorders respond to certain stimuli in the environment with fear and dread as well as physical signs of anxiety-like rapid heartbeat and sweating.
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological condition that appears in early childhood, usually before age 3. Although the severity of ASD varies, a child with this disorder has difficulty communicating and interacting with others. ASD is the third most common developmental disorder which has a neurological origin. Children with ASD may also have their sensory sensitivity affected i.e., they may be under or over-sensitive to certain senses.
Signs of Autism Spectrum DisorderPixabay
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Children with PTSD have intense fear and anxiety, after experiencing or witnessing the traumatic or life-threatening event and feel fearful and anxious as well as 'emotionally numb', and irritable. They often try to avoid places, people, or activities that remind them and lead them to the event.
Depression and other mood disorders
Children with depression experience an elongated period of sad moods and lose interest and enjoyment in activities that they used to enjoy. Children with depression often feel hopeless, worthless, tired, and have difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Bipolar mood disorder results in extreme mood swings between depression and extreme emotional or behavioural highs that are unguarded, risky or unsafe.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder ODD
ODD is a disruptive behaviour disorder and children who suffer from ODD experience sudden unprovoked anger, feel resentful or angry for seemingly no reason. They blame others for their behaviour, argue with adults, deliberately annoy and bother others, and display defiance or refuse to comply with requests.
These are only a few among the long list of mental illnesses that can occur in children.
Warning signs that your child may display to indicate a mental health disorder can be persistent sadness that lasts for two or more weeks, withdrawal from social situations, hurting oneself or talking about hurting oneself, outbursts or extreme irritability, out-of-control behaviour that can be harmful, changes in eating habits among many other symptoms.
If you're concerned about your child's mental health seek professional health, talk to their teacher, peers, close friends etc. Mental illness in children can be diagnosed and treated based on signs and symptoms and how the condition affects a child's daily life. Most mental disorders are caused by a combination of factors and cannot be prevented. However, if symptoms are recognized and treatment is started early, many of the distressing and disabling effects of a mental illness can be prevented or at least minimized.
Keywords: Mental disorder, children, depression, stress, treatment
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children