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Employee Mental Health Challenges during Unprecedented times: How AI Can Solve?

Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

Covid has hit harder on the mental health of Employees. The sudden unexpected rise in Covid-19 cases has caused a lot of turmoil and total mess all over the country. Stress levels have increased indescribably.

According to WHO, bereavement, isolation, loss of income, and fear trigger mental health issues. Mental health issues have been considered as the second epidemic after covid. Many people are struggling with insomnia and anxiety in their regular lives. Meanwhile, COVID-19 itself can lead to neurological complications.

Organizations are now dealing with newly arisen issues, among which Mental Health has become exigent. The second wave has impacted the workforce’s mental health much more than the first wave as many employees have been infected or had to deal with the loss of their near and dear ones.

Impact of Covid 19 on Mental Health of Employees/ Mental Health Challenges for Employees during Unprecedented times

The consequences of the first wave of Covid were a new experience for everyone. A new routine of staying home and adjusting to remote work while managing household responsibilities. In the second wave when everyone expected to go back to the previous “COVID normal”, things got different this time.

As the maximum number of workforce got infected by the virus & death rates has increased, employees’ mental health has started getting affected as they keep wondering, “What if I am next?”

The 2020 mental stress was more related to job loss or loss of income whereas 2021 is more about life & death. Arranging beds for colleagues or family has become more important than completing the deadline.

According to Lancet, 1 in 3 covid-19 survivors developed a Neurological or Psychiatric condition within 6 months of infection which is something of huge concern.

Mental Health Challenges for Employees during Unprecedented times

Pandemic is not just limited to affecting physical health. It’s also a mental health issue that cannot and must not be overlooked. From isolation, fear of contracting the virus, negative news streaming amok to arranging hospital beds, oxygen, ventilators, and dealing with loss, employee mental health is on the verge of exploding. This dire situation needs attending-to urgently.

Also, there are employees who are dealing with emotional distress after both of their parents tested positive. Some of who’s are also in critical condition & some even lost them.

Last week I was talking to a lady whose husband was in critical condition. They are far away from their hometown & their family. So she is fighting everything all alone and feeling helpless. She was dealing with constant restlessness, stress & anxiety.

Besides these, there are also many issues like isolation from society, negative news related to coronavirus, fear of contracting Covid-19, and a sense of helplessness that have become a nightmare for the workforce thereby leading to emotional distress.

What companies are doing to sustain unprecedented times?

In a recent article shared by The Economic Times, the number of Employees using helplines & reaching out to counselors has doubled since April.

This has forced companies to outsource such sessions or hire more professionals. Companies like HUL, for instance, have doubled the number of counselors to 100. The company has also created a team of 500 employees who are trained to listen so that they can reach out to other employees and listen without being judgmental.

From entry-level to management, every tier of the workforce is encouraged to participate in mental wellness sessions and activities through group chats, interactive sessions with fellow employees, counseling with professionals, and several other such engagements.

Companies are encouraging shop floor employees who have never dealt with counselors to talk to them to help them process emotions.

Companies are also organizing group chats, interactive sessions, and many other well-being programs to support their Employees during tough times.

But it has been seen that Toll-Free-Numbers are reactive rather than providing proactive support. So some organizations are introducing AI-based mental health and wellness technology in the form of conversational AI to their system to help their employees overcome the situation.

Check out the article: Why toll-free numbers cannot help organizations yo sustain such unprecedented times.

10 things Employees can follow to help themselves in such unprecedented times

Though it’s a tough time. it will pass. All we need is patience, and taking care of ourselves. Psychologists recommend a few things that if we follow can help us survive such unprecedented times.

1. Isolate yourself from news about the virus. (Everything we need to know, we already know).

2. Don’t look out for death tallies. It’s not a cricket match to know the latest score. Avoid it.

3. Don’t look for additional information on the Internet, it will weaken your mental state.

4. Avoid sending fatalistic messages. Some people don’t have the same mental strength as you. Instead of helping, you could trigger anxiety or depression in them.

5. If possible, listen to music at home at a pleasant volume. Look for board games to entertain children, tell stories and future plans.

6. Maintain discipline in the home by washing your hands, putting up a sign or alarm for everyone in the house.

7. Your positive mood will help protect your immune system, while negative thoughts have been shown to depress your immune system and make it weak against viruses.

8. Most importantly, firmly believe that this shall also pass and we will be safe!

9. Focus on your work strategy for the future, it’s time to restructure your personal & professional portfolio

10. Watch comedy movies and videos, stay happy and keep laughing.  Laughter is the best medicine as we have been told since time immemorial.

So, enough with worries! Whether COVID is positive or not, your mindset should be always positive.

How AI can solve Mental Health issues during unprecedented times

AI is transforming our lifestyle every day. Earlier AI and machine learning were just in Chess games or language recognition programs, etc. But now AI is more than that. Nowadays, from voice commands to self-driving vehicles, AI is everywhere.

But the question is, “Can AI help us solve Mental Health issues in such unprecedented times?”

Mental health stress due to isolation and loss is at its peak. Where most companies have doubled the number of counselors and reach of Helpline Numbers, there are some companies that have entrusted this task to AIs. AI can be really helpful in this case as

  1. AI can support Mental Health, available 24/7, anywhere you are.
  2. AI are unbiased & non judgmental.
  3. Easily accessible over Omnichannel.
  4. AI can give personalized solution.
  5. AI can be your 3am friend !

Just don’t believe us. Try MonAmI now. and Check out how AI can help your organization during such unprecedented times with 24*7 Mental Health Support with actionable insights and recommendations to make your organization sustain such unprecedented time.

Conclusion :

The second wave came with a very tough time for employees. 

But as we all adjusted to it the first time and everything started drifting towards normalcy, this time too will pass. Organizations have started thinking about mental health challenges beyond toll-free numbers. If you are still stuck on toll-free numbers WhatsApp us at +91 98630 43983 to know more about MonAmI.

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