In a chat with DT Next, she talks about the book in detail and the need to discuss the importance of mental health in workplaces. “Open discussions around counselling/therapy in India have been taboo for many years, but the trend is currently changing for good. The book attempts to break the stigma around psychological counselling through various real-life scenarios shared by psychologists from all over India. The majority of employees in all organisations go through some form of stress or anxiety at some point. The pandemic has taken this emotional turmoil to the next level. Why should a person endure such mental health issues when there is a way out? When there is someone who can help them out and channelise their thoughts in the right direction? The book is centred around the idea that it is okay to seek help,” Viji begins the conversation.
True to the title, the book attempts to crush the social stigma associated with mental health disorders and portrays the importance of emotional wellbeing for every individual. The book also signifies the role of colleagues, friends, and family in recognising an individual in distress and how timely intervention and therapy contribute to their wellbeing.
Each chapter of the book is based on a distinct mental health disorder, and it ends with details about the condition, when and how to seek help, and the treatment options available. “Through infographics and stories, we have attempted to connect with the readers about mental wellness. The book also encompasses survey findings of the awareness of the Employee Assistance Program across organisations, how the pandemic has impacted the mental health of employees, and what an organisation can do to help the employees. This book is not targeted at just one group. It connects with CEOs, HR personnel, the rank and file of employees, and any individual to trigger awareness. It motivates people to be vigilant of their colleagues, friends, and family members and helps them guide an individual to the right path. It emphasises the fact that mental health is of prime importance to an individual. When employees are rid of their emotional baggage, it automatically paves the way for a healthy, vibrant, and cheerful workplace,” the author explains.
When quizzed how we can create mental health awareness at workplaces, she says, “Mental health awareness can be created by conducting time-to-time wellness workshops. Connect with the employees through skits, posters, and self-assessments. Employers can arrange interactive ice-breaker sessions between psychologists and employees. Mental health issues are more like the elephant in the room. More employees can come forward and share their stories and encounters with mental health conditions and convince their colleagues and peers that it is okay to seek help,” she concludes.