Invest in Mental Health: A Sound Business Decision for Future Success

Mental Health

Corporate CHROs in Mumbai led by Marsh India and Medix Global appealed to India Inc. to log their ROI in Mental Health!

Mumbai, October 18, 2023: In today’s fast-paced world, mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being that cannot be overlooked. Panel discussions in the city, involving HR heads of all leading corporates deliberated on the topic: “Is Investing in Mental Health a Good Business?”. The discussions highlighted the importance of mental health in the workplace and urged businesses to take action.

The discussions underscored the significance of mental health at work and called on organizations to act. ‘Silent killer’ – mental health may hurt personal health and organization’s effectiveness measured in terms of income and output.

While most employers bucket mental health benefits under Employee Wellness initiatives, the panellists stressed on the importance of bringing it under Employees’ Risk Cover – so that it is taken seriously and gets budgeted accordingly. 

One of the panellists said, “We need empathetic leaders.” This created a conducive environment that discussed measures such an “empathy quotient” and “caregivers’ policies” for employees who have to provide palliative care for family members at home.

India accounts for nearly 15% of the global mental health burden, with nearly 150 million Indians—more than 10% of the population— in need of mental health services. However, according to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience-NIMHANS, less than 20% of them are seeking care.

India pays a particularly high toll for unaddressed mental health issues, which often go undetected due to a lack awareness, education, stigma and access. As per WHO data, India loses an estimated 1% of its GDP to mental health issues.

Mental Health in the Corporate World – The Numbers

– India has the second highest number of employees suffering from corporate BURNOUT – 29% (Microsoft Work Trend Index)
– As high as 50% of employees strongly agreed that stress impacts their productivity (mPower 2023)
– Close to ~ 80% of employees agreed that they have taken at least 2 weeks off due to stress/anxiety and poor mental health (mPower 2023)
– 87% of employees have worked while feeling mentally unwell, while only 23% were able to find MH care when they needed it (Health on Demand 2023 – MMB)
– 84% of respondents reported feeling stressed at work (Deloitte 2023)
– 42.5% of corporate employees suffer from depression or anxiety disorder (ASSOCHAM)

The discussions painted a concerning picture of mental health issues across various countries, including the United States, India, and the United Kingdom. In the US alone, more than 22% of adults live with a mental illness, leading to an estimated annual loss of $46.7 billion in productivity.

Similarly, India faces significant challenges, with nearly 150 million Indians in need of mental health services, but only a small percentage seeking care.

 “By sharing success stories, and implementing comprehensive mental health programs, organizations can create a supportive environment for their employees. This includes prevention, diagnosis, goal mapping, treatment, and outcomes measurement, along with providing ample access to mental health professionals”, said Ms Sigal Atzmon, CEO of Medix Global. “Investing in mental health is a win-win situation for both employers and employees”, she concluded.

Prioritizing mental health leads to improved profitability and business outcomes. The panellists called on organizations to assess, implement, deliver, measure, report, and continuously improve their mental health initiatives.

By taking proactive steps, organizations can create a culture that prioritizes mental health and enjoys the benefits of:

  • reduced turnover
  • increased employee satisfaction
  • enhanced overall productivity

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