A recent report by the World Health Organisation pegged India as the most depressed country in the world, with 6.5% of the population suffering from some mental condition and a suicide rate of 10.9 for every one lakh people. Experts have pointed out that work-related stress is a major cause of mental health issues like depression, burnout and anxiety among young Indians.

However, as the depression epidemic spreads, it seems that employers are finally starting to take note of how important it is to have a mentally healthy workforce.

Arianna Huffington, founder of Thrive Global – a platform focussed on ending the stress and burnout epidemic – believes that companies now have no choice but to address the issue as it is starting to impact employee performance.

“All companies, Indian or multinational, are suffering from the growing casualties of the stress and burnout epidemic. If this epidemic only had an impact on people’s health and happiness I don’t think we would see a lot of progress; but it is having a big impact on business metrics,” she said in a candid chat with Fortune India.

“Any company that is data driven has to face the facts,” she said, explaining that a focus on the employees’ wellness is a must for any company now. However, she adds that simply using the term “wellness” does not go a long way with companies.

India is an amazing market for us. Over a third of Thrive’s Facebook traffic comes from India.
Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global

Thrive Global India, which was launched in January, is now in the process of rolling out specific programmes for companies here. These programmes will involve employees gaining access to Thrive Global’s “micro steps” which are small steps to bring about behavioural changes and content available on its media platform.

“What we are offering is something that effects the CFO’s and CEO’s decisions,” Huffington explained, adding that American Express is one of the companies that will be working with Thrive Global. More such partners are expected to be announced soon.

Since Thrive Global’s launch in India, the company has hit the 25 million users mark for its media platform, indicating that India is a crucial market for the company.

“India is an amazing market for us. Over a third of Thrive’s Facebook traffic comes from India,” Huffington said. “I think here stress levels are high and people have started to recognise that now and are willing to make changes.”

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