World Mental Health Day 2019: Mind All Above Else- Why "Indian Inc" Need to Act Before it's too Late
Recently, the Indian government proposed establishing wellness centers in IITs to curb depression and related mental issues and is also working on mental health awareness among the busy working class. It is good news for those who find themselves under pressure of performance and the need to prove themselves at every curve of life.
The underlying problem still prevails and that is the stigma with respect to mental health. Most people are focused on improving their physical persona and go to extreme measures to rectify any physical flaws that might witness. They undertake crash diets, spend grueling hours in the gym and are mindful of what they wear. However, are they mindful of their mental health as well? In our dreams of attaining the perfect figure, we often forget the need for a healthy mind as well. Unfortunately, ‘health is wealth’ is a phrase that we limit to our school education.
So what is mental health? To answer that question, we must understand what is mind? The mind is an important part of our being and the crux of our existence. It is what shapes our perception towards the outer world as well as our lives. It in fact, absorbs everything around it and forms its own definitions depending on its experience.
This perception can be either negative or positive, safe or dangerous. A negative perception can trigger hazardous thoughts, such as in the case of V.G Siddhartha, founder of the successful coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day whose inability to cope up with the stress led him to commit suicide. Coping mechanisms play a very important role in helping adults understand that they are capable of taking on any challenge.
The Role of Organisations
Why professionals are under emotional duress? This is because they are unable to implement their minds to learning something new and are not conditioned to accept failures. Educational and corporate organisations must help them understand that failure is a part of life, a step towards success. Instead of reprimanding themselves, these failures should act as the pillars of their successful journey.
Indian Inc. need to understand that productivity is not equivalent to greater timelines or foosball in the office. It is more about letting the employees understand that it is okay to take time to learn. Corporates should provide the members with the scope to experiment and grow. Without the scope to learn, such minds will cease to expand and fall into the dark abyss of a lack of creativity and will to work. Therefore, it is vital that employees are taught to have viable problem-solving skills so that they are not under pressure of their surroundings.
So how does one not fall for the duress?
Employees can channelize their abilities (work or non-work related) to create something new every day. Though it is not possible to create something novel every day at work, it is easier to feel good about it by incorporating new learning practices.
Conditioning of the mind is important which helps people answer questions that they might have which is necessary for them to grow and expand their understanding about themselves.
To understand themselves better, they can fall back on four core areas of their lives to ensure that their mental development is holistic and positive. These areas are:
● Family: The family must stop the comparison and blame game. This can lead to self-doubt and self-esteem issues which can prolong and escalate much later in life where the person continues to seek validation. The family must focus on giving positive reinforcements and giving them the space to be in their own skin.
● Society: Society and mental health of people is very intricately linked. Society must provide the person with a non-judgmental front where he can focus on being themselves rather please those around. Instead of enforcing the set ideologies, it is high time that the society frees up people to have opinions (or no opinions) if that’s what they want and not be judgmental about their decision making. The pressure from society is the most hurtful as the person ends up perceiving himself from what is ‘considered’ wrong.
● Workplace: People in leadership positions should emphasize on nurturing people and creating an environment where they can thrive. Favoritism should be avoided and encourage two-way communication to help people shed their insecurities and truly work on improving their mental stance. Leaders must listen to their people. They can follow the Dild’s model to help understand their mindset model and growth.
● Self: Perhaps the most important of all, self-matters the most. If the person is able to articulate his thoughts and is open to change, he can module himself to what is purposeful and be less affected by the external stimuli. This way, he will be able to counter the negative impacts of self-doubts and anxiety which is very prevalent in today’s workplace. Self-assurance and reliability are also important qualities that working and non-working person as well should incorporate in their daily lives to negate the impacts of mental pressure.
Mental health is not tangible and perhaps, this is why not many are ready to accept its existence and consider it as an important matter of health. However, the numbers don't lie and with more than a quarter of the Indian working population under the mental duress, it is high time that we all work towards bringing awareness about mental health and help people reach out to those who are in need of a shoulder to lean on.
Mental issues are real. Mental health is important.