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How the pandemic affected the mental health of Brazilians

Mental health is no longer taboo and has become a priority in the workplace



COVID-19 pandemic. Social isolation, quarantine, restriction measures, hospitalizations, deaths. Brazilians have never experienced a situation similar to the one that marked the year 2020. The speed with which the virus spread and the immediate impact on the lives of the entire population are still felt today, when most people are already immunized. After all, the chances of a new variant making the world see scenes like the ones in Bergamo, Italy, are real.

In the workplace, the impacts of this devastating scenario were equally felt. A survey carried out in August by Datafolha, at the request of Zenklub platform, revealed that 6 out of 10 Brazilians felt overloaded with work during the last year. More than 1,000 adults interviewed reported experiencing anxiety, depression, exhaustion or excessive tiredness, and insomnia or difficulty sleeping.

There is no longer any doubt that the pandemic has increased the symptoms of mental disorders globally. A study by The Lancet, one of the most important scientific journals in the world, found that 53 million new cases of depression and 76 million new cases of anxiety emerged in the world. The numbers are alarming, as they represent an increase of 28% and 26%, respectively, compared to the previous period.

The situation highlights the need for companies to take care of the mental health and well-being of their employees. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental disorders cost 1 trillion dollars to the global economy. Without emotional balance, men and women find it difficult to perform their duties at work, and cannot achieve the expected results.

Work environment and mental health

In the work environment, managers, together with the Human Resources (HR) sectors, have been looking for alternatives to take care of their employees. In fact, due to the high rates of people suffering from mental disorders, specialized mental health services have grown in number and size, both in the public and private systems. Many of these services were created with a focus on the corporate environment.

Today, it is possible to offer employees from a health plan focused on mental health, consultation with a psychologist in the office or at a distance, to programs to encourage regular physical activity and healthy eating. More practical and immediate actions, such as organizing talks about mental health with specialists and providing a listening channel inside the company, can also help.

The trend is that this psychological support for employees is increasingly common within companies. Mental health is no longer taboo and has become a priority in the workplace.

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