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One-fourth mental illness due to workplace depression

08 April 2017
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Business Standard

One in every four mental health problems occurring in people is due to depression, said experts in a seminar here.

Long working hours, tight deadlines, long journeys from home to the office in traffic are all factors that contribute to workplace induced mental health problems, Chee Ng, Professor at the University of Melbourne, said in a statement.

"One in every four mental health problems arises due to work place depression. Not only does this reduce productivity, but also affects cost to the business," Ng said.

The seminar entitled 'Depression: Let's talk about what we all should know' was organised by Jindal Global University in association with the University of Melbourne, Australia, and was attended by academicians and mental health experts from both the countries.

According to World Health Organization, five crore Indians are suffering from depression.

"India has a total of only 898 clinical psychologists, one for every 13 lakh people and a total of 3,800 psychiatrists, one for every 3,30,000," said Sanjeev P. Sahni, Principal Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences.

"There is need for mental health services to be available in each district across the country and the essential drug list to be available free of cost in government hospitals," Sahni added.

People need to be made aware of the fact that depression occurs not due to a person's weakness, but because of imbalances in the brain chemistry, the experts argued.

"Globalisation has not only impacted the socio-economic status of individuals, but their mental well-being as well," noted Ian Everall, Professor at the University of Melbourne.

"Today, 4.4 per cent of the world's population is suffering from depression. Only 50 per cent of people suffering from depression receive treatment. This lack of treatment affects a person's productivity and causes huge losses to companies and the country as a whole," he said.