Expert advice Heal
It’s Ok, to not be Okay

Dr Savita Date Menon

Clinical Psychologist and Wellness Specialist

3 min read

Creating awareness about mental health at work, among social circles and at home is the need of the hour. On average, we spend nearly one-third of our adult lives at work. And it is unlikely that U haven’t spent days at work feeling tense and anxious. It can even be a primary source of stress and tension. Yet, it is the one place we are least comfortable talking about our mental health.

Did you know that in a country like the UK – Less than 2% approach HR for help?

Well, if that’s surprising to you, then read this. A report by the National Mental Health Survey, Bengaluru suggests that an estimated 150 million Indians require mental health assistance. Unfortunately, less than 30 million are asking for help. This is because of the absence of a public health strategy that addresses the issue at a grassroots level.

On the contrary to the above, public figures like Prince William, Kate Middleton, Lady Gaga and Deepika Padukone etc. are doing their bit to raise awareness and acceptance of mental health. It seems that the taboos around talking about mental health are finally breaking, even if it’s just a bit.

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Taboos Around Mental Health? What Are They!!

In our society, mental health has always been a taboo and talking about its well-being is considered to be shameful. In contrast to this, we encourage a discussion on leg injury or even on matters like an income tax raid. Always remember, never shy away from asking for help. If needed, U should be willing to offer support as well.

Create a work culture where employees feel they can approach their manager and have an open conversation about their mental health! Feeling supported at work is key to feeling accepted.

Why Should We Feel Shy When We Are Addressing Mental Health Issues?

Why do we neglect mental health so much even after noticing symptoms in friends and colleagues? Indeed, most people would be happy to help others to provide an ear or a shoulder to someone who is suffering from mental health issues. But one thing that should baffle us is that we are not reaching out for help. Isn’t it surprising that we keep our mental health to ourselves and handle it quietly?

Anxiety and stress U get by letting people know about UR mental illness is a vulnerability. The idea of being talked about or looked at differently can make exposure seem unbearable. But why should this be the case? This is like being stressed about being stressed!

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What Should We Do To Overcome Mental Health Concerns?

There has never been a better time than now to address the stigmas around mental well-being. More people need to stand up and talk openly about their mental health. Maybe if we encourage more people to stand up and promote mental health awareness, we will be able to reduce its effects collectively.

Isn’t it essential to create a work culture where employees feel they can approach at least their manager and have an open conversation about their mental health? Feeling supported at work is key to feeling accepted and recovering.

Hypertension and depression are few of the silent killers, and U would be surprised to know that the best people in UR organization could be suffering from this and no one may know. One in four people suffer from depression or have some mental illness. U can tell if someone is lost because they have “checked out”. It’s like there is nothing there.

On any day, if U notice somebody looking sad or with no expression day after day, if they are lethargic, but there is ‘nothing wrong’ then U know there is a broader problem. These may be signs of mental health issues, try and talk to them and give them the advice and help they need to get through!