COVID-19 unleashing mental pandemic among senior executives

With so much on his plate, the manager — who is in his 40s — even turned aggressive and abusive against his child for the first time in his life, said Archana Bisht, founder of 1to1help.net, an employee mental wellbeing firm that came to the techn...

Agencies
In another case, shared by mental wellbeing platform YourDOST, the 30-year-old cofounder of a mobile app security startup with $1 million in annual revenue started experiencing panic attacks in July.
New Delhi: A senior manager working with a large Bengaluru-based IT services company was on the verge of a nervous breakdown before he reached out for professional help last month. A changed lifestyle due to several months of working remotely while simultaneously handling a young child and sharing household chores with wife, along with mounting pressure to meet targets and the stress of handling scores of team members made him flip out.

With so much on his plate, the manager — who is in his 40s — even turned aggressive and abusive against his child for the first time in his life, said Archana Bisht, founder of 1to1help.net, an employee mental wellbeing firm that came to the technology professional’s rescue.

“This was the last straw for him and he turned to us for help,” she said.


In another case, shared by mental wellbeing platform YourDOST, the 30-year-old cofounder of a mobile app security startup with $1 million in annual revenue started experiencing panic attacks in July.

ETD-4-03102020


The startup’s growth had slowed for the first time after the Covid-19-induced lockdown and revenues also had taken a hit. He started overreacting and lashing out at everyone — family, friends and colleagues — before feeling remorseful for his behaviour.
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“The pandemic started taking a toll on his personal and professional life. It worsened his relationship with his wife too,” said Richa Singh, cofounder of YourDOST. Ever since the virus outbreak, even executive search firms like Korn Ferry have been offering counselling help to chief executives and managing directors. Pressure from the company’s board, shareholders, investors and management to meet business targets while also tasked with ensuring employee welfare, over a dozen such senior leaders have made distress calls to Korn Ferry over the past two months.

“Being at the top, business leaders do not have many people to turn to. It is for the first time that we are finding so many leaders stressed out,” said Navnit Singh, CEO and MD India for Korn Ferry. Despite the growing number of senior leaders seeking help, India Inc has yet to wake up to mental health wellbeing, according to Dr Samir Parikh, director of the department of mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare.

“Today’s leader has to act like a sponge, taking pressure from outside and even inside the firm. This is not easy for all the leaders in such an unprecedented situation,” said Parikh.

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