The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic has made work-from-home and social distancing the new normal. The effect of this has been disparaging for thousands of working professionals, with several of them suffering from mental health issues because of it.
As per data collated from counselling agencies, stress and panic attacks increased by as much as 35 to 40 percent in April. A report by The Economic Times stated that, ever since the lockdown was imposed, several professionals sought counsel to deal with mental stress arising out of isolation, which was ultimately leading to depression, anxiety, loneliness, paranoia, etc.
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Several large firms such as Tata Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, etc., have already taken cognizance of this and hired mental health experts to help their employees deal with related illnesses.
Yashwant Mahadik, who heads human resource of Lupin – another firm that has roped in mental health professionals, said: “Social isolation has become a challenge across industries. After a week or so (of working from home), people started to miss the office routine.”
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Because of the ongoing crisis that has affected most nations across the globe, counselling firms have seen an unforeseen spike in clients seeking mental health advice. One such counselling firm called 1to1help.net, for instance, registered with 40 new companies in the month of April alone to help their employees cope with mental health issues.
Usually, corporates take months to finalise a counselling contract, but the pressing need for professional counsel has changed the pace of it. Another wellness company called Optum has also reported a three-time increase in the number of calls seeking mental health advice over the past month.
The main reason behind the sudden surge in demand for counselling services is due to the absence of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) in most companies.To follow our full coverage on coronavirus, click here