In the past year and a half, professionals around the world have transitioned from work to work to home office (WFH). Since Gautam Budh Nagar is a center of firms with a large number of professionals living here, mental health specialists have reported an increase in work-related mental stress in their patients.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is celebrating October 10th as World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize mental health support efforts.
According to Dr. Samir Parikh of Fortis Hospital in Noida has seen an increase in the number of corporate and IT professionals turning to mental health specialists in the city over the past year.
“WFH made a drastic change in lifestyle and many employees couldn’t handle it. There is a lack of social connection, there is a lack of physical contact, there are no temporal or spatial boundaries between work and professional life and so on. As a result, we are seeing an increase in the number of patients suffering from work-related stress and having problems such as insomnia, burnouts, anxiety and uncertainties about their future, work and life, ”said Dr. Parikh, director of mental health and behavioral science at Fortis Healthcare.
The WFH structure, which became the global norm after the pandemic, is showing signs of mental exhaustion after a year and a half, experts say.
“Social isolation, long hours, and multitasking have affected the mental health of many professionals. Sleep disorders, mood swings, interpersonal conflict, and depression are some of the psychological and clinical manifestations of WFH. The initial benefits of WFH, such as reduced commuting time, flexibility at work, and spending time with family, were gradually eclipsed by psychological stress, anxiety and depression, ”said Dr. Priyanka Srivastava, Consultant, Behavioral Science Department, Jaypee Hospital (Noida).
At Gautam Budh Nagar, a number of companies help their employees deal with mental stress and provide them with mental health specialists.
“Corporate firms have started debating mental health, even more so since the pandemic hit us. Since last year we have been holding virtual meetings with at least eight companies in the city every month, ”added Dr. Parikh added.
Tech Mahindra in the Noida Special Economic Zone in Sector 82 brought in professional advisors and experts for its employees.
“The mental health specialists organize various wellness webinars such as ‘Ease your Stress’ for our employees to help them cope with stress and build resilience. We also launched a Mind Plan, a mental health initiative that provides our employees with daily doses of mindful tips and exercises to help them relax and feel positive during difficult times, ”said Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer and Head, Marketing, Tech Mahindra.
Similar initiatives have been taken at Barco India, an electronics company in Sector 64, The Soul. We have also brought in a company that offers our employees professional psychological advice and a comprehensive wellness program, ”said Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director of Barco.
Some firms also train their managers to be supportive and aware of the psychological wellbeing of their subordinates.
“As Covid-19 continues to pose challenges, we have brought in mental health professionals to hold executive meetings so that managers can not only manage their own mental wellbeing, but also become a guide and mentor to employees,” said Agendra Kumar, Managing Director, Esri India, a technology company based in Sector 16.
Dr. Abhay Singh Tomar, psychiatrist at the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), Greater Noida, advises trusting colleagues or family members in times of stress.
“Often times, mental disorders worsen when people bottle it and don’t talk about it. My advice to anyone who experiences stress in the workplace is to find a friend, colleague, or family member to confide in. You should also take small breaks while working at home so as not to get bogged down in stress, ”said Dr. Tomar.