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  Table of Contents 
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97
 

Ensuring sound mental health in the workplace


1 Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication13-Feb-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_149_17

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Ensuring sound mental health in the workplace. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2017;21:97

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Ensuring sound mental health in the workplace. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Jun 16];21:97. Available from: http://www.ijoem.com/text.asp?2017/21/2/97/225339




Dear editor,

A significant proportion of the time of an adult is spent in the workplace, and hence, a healthy atmosphere in the workplace is a must for an individual's wellbeing.[1],[2] A negative workplace atmosphere is responsible for a wide range of physical and mental ailments, addiction, sickness absenteeism, and reduced productivity, whereas a positive vibe in the workplace not only ensures health and wellbeing but also promotes productivity.[1],[2],[3] Moreover, global estimates suggest that in excess of 300 million and 250 million people suffer from depression and anxiety, which often affects their productivity and is eventually responsible for a loss of US$ 1 trillion annually.[1]

Careful analysis of the dynamics in the workplace has led to the identification of multiple predisposing factors, which together are responsible for impaired mental health of the workers.[1] Factors such as absence or insufficient health and safety policies, poor communication, no or restricted involvement of workers in decision-making, lack of support for workers, both in terms of welfare measures as well as resource constraints, rigid job timings, and ambiguous job activities, play a crucial role in the poor mental health of the workers.[3],[4] In addition, poor ergonomics (giving a wrong job to a wrong worker) or excessive workload or bullying and mental harassment also affects the psychological wellbeing of an employee, and subsequently, can have untoward effects on family relationships as well.[1],[4]

The most essential element for achieving a healthy workplace is formulating comprehensive legislations, strategies, and policies with an aim to ensure the wellbeing of the workers.[2],[5] An organization can ensure mental health in the workplace either by minimizing work-related risk factors or by consolidating the positive aspects of work or by giving timely attention to the mental health ailments, irrespective of the etiology.[3],[4] However, all planned interventions should be delivered as an integrated package of services encompassing prevention, early identification, support, and rehabilitation.[1],[3]

Numerous interventions such as increasing awareness about the workplace environment and its role in ensuring wellbeing and sources where people can seek help, implementing strategies to meet the needs of individual employees, involving employees in decision-making, and suitably rewarding the efforts of employees, can be implemented.[3],[5] In addition, flexible working timings, redesigned tasks, and supportive management can also play an important role in enabling people to work.[1],[2],[3] Nevertheless, the keys to success are through the involvement of staff at all levels and by ensuring careful monitoring of these measures to ensure effectiveness.[3]

To conclude, promoting a healthy working atmosphere at the workplace can play an important and a long-term beneficial role in improving the mental health of the workers, and hence, their overall productivity.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. World Mental Health Day 2017-Mental health in the workplace; 2017. Available from: http://who.int/mental_health/world-mental-health-day/2017/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Oct 19].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. The public health concern of mental illnesses: Strengthening of the mental health sector. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:307-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
World Health Organization. Mental health in the workplace-Information sheet; 2017. Available from: http://who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Oct 19].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Application of principles of ergonomics in medicine. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2014;18:100.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Necessity of globally implementing the comprehensive mental health action plan: World Health Organization. J Neurosci Rural Pract 2015;6:626-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  




 

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