by Susil Agrawal
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a different impact on each individual. Whether it’s adjusting to a new work-life balance or losing a loved one or a job, the weight of unprecedented times has been heavy and has had a huge impact on people’s mental health. Sometimes people are not aware of the circumstances in which they may need to seek help from their friends, family, or even professionals. According to a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research, one in seven Indians suffers from a mental health problem. This can include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and other conditions.
scan by Indian Psychiatric Association He revealed that the number of people with mental illness rose during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second wave caused more chaos and distress than ever before. The death rates and heartbreaking statistics of patients infected with the COVID virus have been shared through the daily news and other social media. This was also the time when we saw an increase in the sale of antidepressants. According to the research arm of Indian origin chemists and distributors AIOCD-AWACS, sales of the five largest antidepressants in the Indian market increased by nearly 23 percent from April 2020 to April 2021, from Rs 177 crore to Rs 218 crore. .
Organizational Focus Shift: Embracing Employee Assistance Programs
The organizational focus on the mental health and well-being of employees was critical in this case. The manager’s job during a pandemic was not merely to ensure that the team completed the task assigned to them; They also needed to establish two-way communication to understand the challenges the team faced in their daily lives at home. Many employees experienced unexpected mental health issues and needed support while working as a result of having to deal with the additional stresses caused by COVID-19. Consequently, employers have attempted to refocus on or learn how to navigate for the first time – the mental health of their employees.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) set up by some health insurance experts has given managers the tools they need to identify and treat mental health issues. The program assists companies in identifying and resolving personal issues that may affect employee performance, including but not limited to health, family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, or stress issues. Through this tool, managers acquire the skills to deal with disgruntled workers without alienating them or overstepping personal or professional boundaries.
Companies are now placing a strong emphasis on the necessity of a proactive rather than reactive approach to the issue of mental illness among their workforce and adopting EAP. However, many companies or workers are not aware of the existence of such programs.
When the second wave of the pandemic hit India in April and May 2021, there was a clear change. Employers reached out to their employees to help them get through the crisis, and employees contact their employers for advice and assistance. As we emerge from the pandemic, many companies have continued their great work. They are removing the stigma of the problem and are now more proactive in drawing attention to the mental health and wellbeing services they provide.
Department heads receive more training from their employers so that they can distinguish between positive and negative stress in their team members. Only effective teaching materials.
Understanding the Great Resignation
All organizations globally, whether they are thriving startups or large corporations, are now more concerned about Great Resignation. India is no exception, with the new study showing that 86 per cent of workers will leave their jobs in the next six months. Almost all major industries will be affected, but the technology and communications sector will be among the best sectors to record the highest rate of attrition in the coming months.
Almost all employees in the public sector will leave their current employer, making it industry which will be affected the most. Even more surprising is the fact that the people who will lead the great era of resignation in India are those who have been in their current jobs for less than two years. The majority of resignations are expected from managers in favor of a better work-life balance and comfort in the workplace.
According to The Great X report, 61 per cent of Indian workers are willing to refuse a raise, bonus or promotion in exchange for improved physical and mental health, for better work-life balance and greater “general happiness”. The report stresses that this trend will continue regardless of seniority or age in all markets, industries and age groups. A survey found that only 11 percent of workers have left their jobs or are planning to leave due to COVID-related regulations. The top five reasons behind increasing attrition are career advancement or promotion, switching professional roles or industries, dissatisfaction with salaries, and lack of confidence in the company’s strategy and future direction.
“I believe that more advanced companies realize their moral responsibility to prioritize employee well-being. But they also recognize the financial benefits and realize that happier employees are more productive. Employees will live healthier lives as a result of initiatives like EAP because anxiety and depression increase the risk of many chronic and potentially fatal conditions such as IBD. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Preventive care efforts should lower long-term health insurance costs” Mr. said Agrawal.
The elephant in the room: mental health
People tend to keep their problems to themselves because of the stigma associated with mental illness. Knowing and expressing one’s feelings can help ease the burden somewhat. The first thing to do is share and speak openly about how you feel. If you feel mentally ill, you should seek medical intervention as soon as possible and fortunately, mental illnesses today are covered by health insurance in India,” added Agarwal.
Mental health covered by health insurance
Previously, people did not consider it important that medical insurance covered mental disorders. However, there has been a rise in awareness of people’s mental well-being as more people come forward and discuss mental health issues. Now, almost everyone considers it a top priority.
In August 2018, IRDAI Health insurance coverage is mandated for mental health conditions. The insurance regulator has instructed all insurance providers to cover mental health as part of health insurance policies and to treat it like physical illness. The unified regulation enables health insurance policies to cover mental disorders, mental illnesses, stress and neurological diseases.
What exclusions apply to mental health insurance? Exceptions to a mental health insurance policy include mental illness caused by drug or alcohol abuse, outpatient consultations, and recurrent mental illness that indicates a lack of discipline in adherence to the recommended course of action and dosage.
Organizations should keep employee morale and enthusiasm high like work from home or hybrid model, the new is not normal. This can be achieved by recognizing that work and personal commitments must coexist.
No aspect of life has changed more quickly in the past year than the way we work. Expectations have changed among employees. Companies that want to succeed are redefining their corporate cultures and what productivity means in a broader and more progressive sense. The importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace is rapidly growing and is here to stay.
Susil Agarwal is the founder and CEO of Insurance Brokers Ethika. Ethika is a new age technology startup that leverages technology to increase the user experience in insurance.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and are not necessarily shared by ETHealthworld. ETHealthworld.com shall not be liable for any damage caused directly or indirectly to any person/organization.)