Bangalore: A collaborative stress survey was conducted by the Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare and No Worry No Tension Healthcare. Spearheaded by Dr Samir Parikh and Dr Sandeep Vohra, from the respective organizations, the objective was to screen individual stress levels over a period of three months using a stress-o-meter (an online screening tool). 2463 individuals across 8 Indian cities (Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai , Kolkatta, Mohali, Ludhiana, Chennai, Jaipur) took part in this survey.
The survey revealed some interesting statistics:
v Key causative factors:
· 79% of the participants expressed that a person’s nervous disposition highlighted by their nature, personality traits and ineffective coping mechanisms made them more susceptible to stress.
·15% of the participants suffered from stress because of reasons related to physical distress and discomfort.
v Key Findings for stress levels:
·48% of the participants suffered from extremely high stress levels, and considered professional interventions like counselling and psychotherapy beneficial in alleviating their distress.
· 22% of the participants reported mild levels of stress, which implied the need to develop adaptive coping mechanisms so that their anxieties could be managed better.
·30% of the individuals experienced optimal levels of stress, which implied no significant need for psychological interventions.
·Stress levels are particularly high among people who displayed neurotic personality traits and had limited resources to cope with their neurosis.
· External factors such as life circumstances and difficulties at the workplace or at home, play a minimal role in contributing towards significantly high stress levels.
· Communication and active listening are the key instruments that can be used to lessen the burden of stress.
The findings of the survey suggest significant levels of stress being experienced by individuals, attributed to their own personality traits as well as limited coping resources being available to them. Inherent personality traits and natural disposition of individuals play a significant role in determining their ability to tolerate stress. External factors such as life circumstances and difficulties at home play a minimal role in contributing towards stress levels.
Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare said, “We believe that evaluation of stress levels needs to become an integral part of all preventive health packages in order to increase awareness and sensitivity towards mental health across the population. We, at Fortis Healthcare, have initiated using Stress screening as a part of Preventive Health Check-ups with the objective of helping individuals to know more about their own psychological well-being and mental health.”
Dr Sandeep Vohra, CMD, No Worry No Tension, shared, “It was a privilege to partner with Fortis Healthcare for this initiative. This is an attempt to assess stress levels on the ground and help health professionals identify the remedial measures which can be adopted to help people manage stress effectively and thereby avoid more serious diseases. The use of the stress-o-meter in this survey was a unique online screening tool”.
In today’s day stress is unavoidable. It is particularly the pressure of performance as most companies have a result oriented approach to work. Harassment and bullying at work are also major problems. Keeping this in mind World Mental Health Day 2017 is thematically focusing on stress at the workplace and how it affects people across the globe. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression and 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Mental Health should be of utmost importance as it affects the holistic well – being of the individual and the societies in a larger perspective.