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BW Businessworld

Need A War On The Invisible Enemy

Mental health @ workplace needs immediate reform and who can lead this change better than our future business leaders

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One in five of the working age population is estimated to be suffering from mental illness and 85 per cent of employees still feel uncomfortable discussing their mental health well-being @ workplace. Our workforce and economy at large is fighting an invisible enemy — The Stigma around mental health, in a battle without the battle lines and needs urgent help. Mental health @ workplace needs immediate reform and who can lead this change better  than our future business leaders who are ready to shine in the corporate world as they step out of their respective B-Schools.

Preparing our business leaders
Mental health education and sensitisation should be part of the education curriculum in our society at large, however; B-Schools can catalyse mental health awareness by incorporating mental health education in their curriculum. Issues around employee satisfaction and well-being are directly correlated to the bottom-line of an organisation, then why is mental health education and sensitisation still not integrated in management schools or corporation ethos? Our next generation business leaders can learn the sensitivity around these mental health concerns at B-schools and the impact they can have by influencing an organisation’s policies that support mental health and the well-being of employees.

Ending stigma together
It takes a village to create mental health awareness and normalise discussions on depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health concerns especially at the workplace. Management and business leaders can catalyse their employee wellness by applying learnings from their B-school experience in their community at the workplace and beyond. Organisations can start thinking out-of-the-box to include prevention as their focus area, especially when mental health is concerned and implementing tools and processes that ensure anonymity, safety and trust of their workforce.

According to Mind — a mental health charity organisation, employer awareness of mental health issues at work is poor. In its report, ‘Taking care of business: Employers’ guide to mentally healthy workplaces’, studies cited show how most senior managers severely underestimate the scale of mental health problems at their workplace. This is a global epidemic and needs to be fixed at its root level and not at the symptom level.

Another organisation, TrustCircle — a mental health social enterprise — is on a mission to make mental healthcare accessible and affordable for all youth and adults. TrustCircle is a purpose-driven digital health startup that utilises mobile and AI technology to make mental healthcare accessible and affordable. The TrustCircle platform has been recognised by the mental health innovation network as an innovation in global mental health.TrustCircle mHealth solutions empower individuals and organisations to promote mental health and well-being at the workplace and beyond using the 3P model — Preventative, Participatory, and Predictive.

Such innovations, open dialogue around mental health, and integrating mental health education in B-schools and beyond can truly change the status quo and help bridge one of the worst crisis our humanity is facing  - The Mental Health Care Gap.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Sachin Chaudhry

The author is the Founder & CEO of TrustCircle. He has been appointed global advisor for the Movement for Global Mental Health 2017 - 2020

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