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MENTAL HEALTH AT WORKPLACE: LET’S GO BACK TO BASICS

MENTAL HEALTH AT WORKPLACE: LET’S GO BACK TO BASICS

Fri Jul 6 2018

Recently we attended an interesting conference known as ‘Keepwell summit’ where amongst many speakers, two of them stood out with their back to basics perspective: Neil O’Brien a renowned wellness expert and an amazing Caroline Mc Guigan from Suicide or Survive.

Coming from a corporate background for over 2 decades, I get frustrated how we unnecessarily make things very complicated. Especially jargons; one of my friends in our team always slags me when I get stuck in that rut. At the conference too, those who spoke in simple language from their heart, stuck with everyone and I am sure will do so for long.

Mental health in the corporate world is a big theme nowadays and I am afraid it should not be one of those policies that get stuck in procedure files and it becomes another “ticking the box” activity with few mindfulness classes only.

It needs a cultural shift; Openness to talk about it is a good start. We all know about the link between productivity and mental health. This does not have to be big mental health problems but even small things like a new mother back to work, worried about her child or it can be as simple as someone just needing a compassionate listening ear. Unfortunately, in most cases I come across, apprehension in a person’s mind to discuss anything at work, is a big issue. We need to look at options for how we can encourage talking in a safe environment because feeling from the heart, even at the workplace, can work wonders. There are few corporates who are trying to promote this. So, possibly creating ‘Best in Class’ industry standard of actionable points may be the answer?

The pressure of looking and doing things certain ways give rise to anxiety and panic attacks. Till one day it results in burnout or a full-blown meltdown resulting in the breaking down of all relationships in one of the biggest aspect of our lives. Personally, I think this pressure to look and do things in certain ways, curtails creativity and innovation at the workplace and companies are losing out harnessing the full potential of their valued employees. So, let’s have a dialogue about it and see if we can generate some actionable ideas which companies can choose from?

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