Bengaluru firm institutes mental health leave for employees

Bengaluru: Ahead of the World Mental Health Day on October 10, city-based healthcare firm DocsApp on Monday said it has introduced mental health care as part of the sick leaves given to the employees.

DocsApp, a mobile app that allows users to reach out to specialist doctors, will be giving a ‘Stress Day Off’ to its team so employees can pay attention to their mental well being, a company statement said.

“We automatically associate ‘sick leave’ with someone being physically ill. However, we never associate a person being sick to a mental health issue,” CEO Satish Kannan said in the statement.

“Lack of awareness about mental health issues has hindered people from seeking help from a specialist. We need to educate people and ensure they understand that mental health issues have to be treated, and a specialist has to be consulted for a treatment,” he added.

The new leave helps in letting the employees stay productive while taking care of their mental health, the company said.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) study in 2014, India is among the leading countries whose citizens are battling depression and anxiety.

Each year, WHO recognises October 10 as World Mental Health Day with an objective of raising awareness about mental health.