Empowering Mental Health

Mainstreaming mental health and well-being for holistic growth on the seas

  • The author of this article is Ritesh S. Ramakrishnan, Managing Director, Transworld Group of Companies

India is the world’s fifth largest economy today[1] and touted to move up two places by 2027.[2]

Its contribution to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to be 15% in 2023-24.[3]

Yet…

According to a study that surveyed individuals on standards of physical and psychological health, social relationships, and environment, among others, nearly one in two Indians reported a poor quality of life.[4]

 While close to 10% of the country suffers from some kind of diagnosable mental health condition, only 20% of those seek the required care for it.[5]

India is making great economic strides and it is high time that our steps on making mental wellness a priority match that pace. As organisations contributing to the nation’s growth and reaping its benefits, it is equally our responsibility, if not more, to aid in making the nation healthier, holistically.

Today, be it the workplace (for professionals), school (for students) or the home (literally everyone), the burden of “succeeding” is immense. Allowing no room for failure, a majority push themselves to the brink of mental despair.

Mental health education must start right from childhood, equipping children with the ability to understand and accept themselves, deal with overwhelming emotions and develop emotional intelligence.

Another significant area of focus has to be maternal mental health, especially with growing nuclear family set-ups and limited or inaccessible support systems for childcare.

Workplaces need to work hard to create a conducive environment for all kinds of people to grow, not just as employees but as individuals. Needless to say, this is not something that can be achieved in a single day or with the intentions of a few. It will need deep-rooted involvement of key decision-makers to evolve a strategy that is differentiated (for employees at different levels) yet comprehensive. Programs designed to address their mental health needs will be very different from that of an employee working out of home or one coming in to work every day.

For instance, among the several mental health-focused initiatives we undertake, an important one is a session we have organised for seafarers for the third consecutive year in 2023. Seafarers lead an uncertain life due to the nature of their work which directly impacts their well-being and response to challenges. This year’s session focused on demystifying the concept of mental health; equipping participants with tools to identify triggers and deal with situations with self-care. Our initiatives are designed to address the specific challenges of a group and provide dedicated outlet for voicing concerns that create the foundation for holistic growth and development of all individuals.   

Irrespective of whether we choose to focus on making depth of mental healthcare services available for a certain segment or towards enhancing availability and access in general, there is a lot of work to be done.

The nation is growing at an accelerated pace but a critical component Fuelling this growth – its citizens – need to be empowered to take charge of their own physical, mental and emotional well-being. Let us become catalysts to that transformation and aid the country in its pursuit of higher goals.

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