IT firms go extra mile to help workers battling mental health issues 

With their companies standing right beside them, many IT professionals facing stress, anxiety and depression are no longer fighting a lone battle.

Published: 20th April 2019 01:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2019 01:07 AM   |  A+A-

Tech firms are formulating policies such as engaging counsellors to help their employees manage the issues

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With their companies standing right beside them, many IT professionals facing stress, anxiety and depression are no longer fighting a lone battle. Several tech firms are formulating policies such as engaging counsellors to help their employees manage the issues. Human resources professionals say employees usually do not disclose if they have any mental health issues during the hiring process.

“They reach out to the project managers after they are recruited. We make sure they have a counsellor to talk to,” a spokesperson from Tata Consulting Services said, adding that the person can also talk to counsellors online, and their identity is kept confidential. Many firms organise counselling sessions in the office while some even have tie-ups with hospitals for weekly visits of counsellors.

“If the counsellor observes a pattern among the employees from a particular team, the team leaders and counsellors are called for a session to help them come up with better ways to coordinate with the employees,” said Rishi Ramalingam, an employee at an MNC at Manyata Tech Park.

Top companies, especially the foreign-based ones, are well aware of this situation and help workers cope with the situation, said Dinesh T S, program manager at Nokia. “Those with mental issues are either sent on a sabbatical or given a role switch within the company to help recover from the situation,” he added.

Most employees suffer from work-life balance issues and lack of confidence at the workplace, according to Sailaja Manacha, psychologist and psychotherapist at Physis. “They work for long hours and find it difficult to maintain a social life, which causes anxiety and depression. I don’t advise them. Instead, I help them come up with a solution,” she added.

Many small firms and startups, however, have still not put such a policy in place. “Our company only has a few employees, and since we have not experienced any such situations, we have not introduced the system yet,” Bharat, the HR professional at GM Group, told CE. 

Workers do feel the need for such support from the firms. Madhav K, who works in a start-up on MG road, said, “The stress is much more in smaller companies as there are very few employees and a lot of work.” 
Not just curing, psychiatrists say believe that mental illnesses can also be prevented through this.

“ I give lectures to IT employees on time management and work-life balance. This helps them deal with the situation and prevent unpleasant situations,” explained Ravi Prakash, a psychiatrist at Veditha Mind Care clinic, Mathikere.

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