The World Health Organisation (WHO) had labelled India as the most depressed country in 2018.
India's National Mental Health Survey conducted in 2019 estimated that over 56 million Indians suffered from some form of depression and 38 million Indians suffered from anxiety disorder.
Despite the high prevalence of mental disorders in India, the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences has reported that over 80 percent of Indians do not have access to mental care services.
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On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Alok Kshirsagar, Senior Partner at McKinsey; Aparna Piramal Raje, Columnist & Author; Pramath Raj Sinha, Founder & Chairman at Harappa Education, Founder & Trustee at Ashoka University and Radhika Gupta, MD & CEO at Edelweiss AMC to discuss what companies can do to address mental health in the workplace.
According to Raje the willingness to have a conversations and recognise that mental health issues are not personality issues but medical issues is positive. She added that India needs to have helpline for toxic workplaces without having career implications
“The willingness to have a conversation, to recognise that mental health issues are not personality issues but that they are actually medical issues, all of these conversations that are beginning to happen are very positive. The biggest change that I see in corporate India is that leadership is interested in mental health and it is also getting more CEO mindspace,” Raje said.
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“So we should have toxic helpline just like we have resources for sexual harassment or a reporting mechanism where people could talk about toxic bosses without fear of career or job implications,” he added.
Kshirsagar said toxic workplace behaviour is the number one reason for people quitting and not compensation. He added that 40 percent of Indian workers have burnout, anxiety or depression.
“In our survey of Indian workers relative to other countries – 40 percent of Indian workers say they have burnout, anxiety or depression and this compares to 25 percent as the Asia average which in itself is above the global average,” Kshirsagar informed.
“The survey shows that the number one cause of leaving a company is not compensation, it is toxic workforce behaviour. So this is a leadership issue. If you look at absenteeism, productivity etc, it is challenge of well-being that is across every aspect of our organization,” he added.
Watch video for entire conversation.