KOCHI: World Mental Health Day was celebrated here by Ernakulam Psychiatric Society. Hibi Eden MLA, who inaugurated the event, said, “Good mental health is crucial for the development of a child. The root of nearly all mental health problems lies in the earlier stages of a person’s life. Therefore, it is important for children to learn about mental health. The lessons on the topic should start from the schools.” According to experts, the burden of the vast amount of study material, exam fear, revision schedules and stiff competition can have a negative impact on the mental health of a child.
The MLA also elaborated on the effect of corporate culture on the mental health of a person. “The corporate culture of cut-throat competition is posing new challenges to the mental health of people,” said Hibi while making a reference to the slogan of World Mental Health Day this year- ‘Mental health in workplace’.
Giving a talk on ‘Mental health in the workplace’ at the event, Dr Elsie Oommen, consultant psychiatrist, Medical Trust Hospital, said, “Job-related stress is one of the major cause of mental health problems.” According to her, those who work in the health sector have to constantly worry about the diseases that they may get infected with.
“For those in the armed and law enforcement forces, the threat to lives makes them all strung up. They also have the tendency to develop post-traumatic stress disorder after undergoing violent and life-changing events. Every job has a risk factor of its own,” she said.
Physical, emotional and sexual harassment meted out by the superiors or colleagues at workplace too are some of the reasons that affect a person’s mental balance. “Low salary and working overtime too are factors that will adversely affect the mental health of a person,” Dr Elsi said. According to her, in order to arrive at a solution to the problem a combined effort, by both the employer and the employee, has to be made.