GS Paper 2
Context: WHO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have called for concrete actions to address mental health concerns in the working population.
- Over 12bn workdays are lost annually (costing about $1 trillion) due to depression and anxiety
- Work and Mental Health are closely intertwined: Good mental health enables people to work productively and a good work environment induces good mental health.
- WHO’s World Mental Health Report 2022 showed that of one billion people living with a mental disorder in 2019, 15% of working-age adults experienced a mental disorder.
- Work amplifies wider societal issues that negatively affect mental health, including discrimination and inequality.
- Bullying and psychological violence (also known as “mobbing”) is a key complaint of workplace harassment that has a negative impact on mental health.
- Yet discussing or disclosing mental health remains taboo in work settings globally.
- WHO Mental Health Atlasfound that only 35% of countries reported having national programmes for work-related mental health promotion and prevention.
- COVID-19 triggered a 25% increase in general anxiety and depression worldwide.
Significance of Mental Health at work:
- To uphold human rights
- Achieve SDG 3 on health and SDG 8 on decent work for all
- Reduce discrimination
- Increase labour productivity
Measures suggested in the guidelines:
- Psychosocial Risk management: Managing worries about close ones, their health and safety status, and business and societal interests.
- Promote mental health through training and improving mental health literacy
- Supporting those with mental health conditions to become productive
- Constitutional Provision: The right to Health (including mental healthcare) is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- National Mental Health Program (NMHP) ( To address the huge burden of mental disorders and shortage of qualified professionals)
- Mental HealthCare Act 2017(Guarantees every affected person access to mental healthcare and treatment from services run or funded by the government)
- Kiran Helpline(Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (2020) launched a 24/7 toll-free helpline)
Q. Mental health is one of the most neglected social issues in India. Comment. (10M)