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World Mental Health Day 2022: Challenges At The Workplace After the Covid 19 pandemic, the importance of mental health services was highlighted due to various reasons such as multiple mental health triggers, job loss, uncertainty and loss of lives.

By Kavya Pillai

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After the Covid 19 pandemic, the importance of mental health services was highlighted due to various reasons such as multiple mental health triggers, job loss, uncertainty and loss of lives. At present, the conversation around mental health is beyond the stage of awareness. The matter goes beyond the accessibility of mental health services. There is a real taboo around enlisting the help of a therapist, counsellor or mediator.

"It's important to find ways to assure such employees that they won't be judged or their growth in an organisation won't be affected if they undertake therapy, depending on the seriousness of the issue," said Anurag Khosla, CEO vHealth by Aetna. There has been an increase in workshops and tie-ups between MNCs and employee assistance programs that have effectively created better accessibility for employees to connect to therapists when required yet there are some misconceptions about availing these sources. One wonders if the conversation with a therapist goes back to HR? And will others find out if you go to a therapist?

To answer these questions we spoke to Shruti Pakrasi, a Principal Psychologist at S. Pakrasi Psychological Health Care, who shared that at the start of a session, one is asked to sign a "Statement of Understanding, which explains the confidentiality and elaborates what
one can expect from the session". The session commences only after the client gets clarity and is on the same page as the therapist. This eliminates the fear of people finding out and the session can peacefully progress. As for HR finding out, the Statement of Understanding also explains how the department is informed under circumstances of "High Risk".

On the 10th of October, several sessions on mental health awareness took place but more importantly according to Rajani Athreya (Senior Director, Insights & Country HR Services, South Asia, Kantar), "A focus on creating a structured process which keeps the identity of the individual confidential while seeking help of a therapist is important, and that is essential to employees for availing services of Employee Assistance Programs."

One does wonder what else is leading to employees undergoing a great deal of pressure and facing bouts of depression, stress or anxiety. Ranveer Allahbadia a.k.a BeerBiceps (Digital Content creator and Entrepreneur) shared, "A lack of physical fitness in any form like sports, dancing and more, early on in life is a major factor to mental health issues which is not spoken about enough". Recently, the Government of India announced the launch of the National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP) in the Union Budget 2022-23. On a more individual level, Allahbadia emphasised that when your body is physically exercised regularly the movement helps you build your resilience, regulate your emotions and increase focus. These changes and
dedication do not come easily so the key is to "associate your routine with fun".

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