Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing at MBA Schools
Do you know that the average mental health condition lasts for four years? That's a long time! For MBA students, this duration is increased as they are constantly under pressure due to various aspects such as placements, competitive pressure, and more.
An alarming number of students suffer from different mental health conditions, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies. This is a cause for concern and should be addressed immediately.
Today, we will redefine the idea of mental health with the help of a few tips on how to improve it. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you will be able to see the importance of mental health in your life and take steps to improve it.
What is Mental Health?
The concept of mental health is mostly misunderstood. It is often interpreted as a lack of sanity or inability to blend in with normal life. However, being mentally fit is a much larger topic than that.
Our environment also plays a major role in our overall mental well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act in our daily lives. It also plays a role in determining how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
When we talk about mental health, it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all definition. For students, mental health can be defined as a state of well-being in which they can cope up with the demands of their academic, social, and personal environment. It's easy to forget about your well-being when you are juggling multiple responsibilities as a student.
Surprisingly making small changes in one’s life can help in coping with any mental distress that one may be facing.
Common Mental Health Issues Observed in MBA Students
Depression is a health condition that can cause a wide range of negative symptoms. It is a common mental health issue faced by MBA students that is characterised by feelings of sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. MBA students often feel depressed due to the high pressure of academics and placements. Unhealthy competition among peers, social isolation, and homesickness are also some of the reasons why students feel depressed.
If left unnoticed or unattended, people with depression may have thoughts of harming themselves or committing suicide.
Anxiety is another common mental health issue faced by MBA students. It is a typical response from your body to situations that could make you feel uneasy. Anxiety is characterised by feelings of fear, worry, and agitation.
MBA students often feel anxious due to the competitive nature of the coursework and the placement process. In addition, the high cost of tuition and the pressure to succeed can also contribute to anxiety.
The persistent or escalating emotions of anxiety, tension, and panic can obstruct day-to-day activities.
3. Difficulties in Transition from Work Life to Academic Life
The changes in personal routine or disruption to a comfortable cocoon is part of any professional academic program. For many MBA students, this can be a difficult transition. Some of them may even be attending the classes along with their jobs. Having to juggle classes, homework, and exams can be a huge adjustment and a burden that can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress.
For such students, it is important to start networking and connect with teachers and fellow classmates. Also students must remember that this is a temporary situation and that they will eventually get used to the new schedule.
4. Interpersonal Conflicts
The MBA program has a competitive environment. This can lead to conflicts between classmates based on differences in ideologies, values, or goals. If not resolved, these conflicts can lead to feelings of bitterness, anxiety and isolation.
5. Personal Insecurities
Many MBA students feel insecure about their capabilities. They may compare themselves to their peers and feel inferior. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem. To cope with these feelings, some students may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol.
Acceptance is the Steppingstone to Success
Most of us live in denial when it comes to our mental health. We do not want to believe that we are anything less than perfect. This is especially true for high-achieving individuals, such as MBA students. It is important to accept that we all have flaws and that it is okay to seek help when needed.
The second thing to keep in mind is balance. We all have different responsibilities and obligations in life. It is important to find a balance between work and play, between our personal and professional lives. When we are out of balance, it can lead to increased stress levels and negative mental health consequences.
One of the easiest and most fun ways to give yourself a reminder is to keep a happy memory. It can be anything from a quote to a favourite picture. For example, create a customised piece of clothing to wear on the days you don't feel like yourself. Something as small as a T-shirt with an inspirational message from your loved ones can help you get through the tough times.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that we are all human and that we all need to take care of our mental health. Just like physical health, mental health should be given importance. It is not something to be ashamed of or to be hidden. Mental health is something to be proud of. It is a part of who we are and should be celebrated.
Create a Support Network
One of the best ways an institute can counter mental stress among students is by creating a support network. This can be done by organizing small care-cells under teachers/counsellors or by coordinating with the senior students to facilitate the same.
You can also organise fests and other events to socialise as well as reach out to professional people who can help. This will help in reducing the sense of isolation and loneliness among the students.
You can also organise group activities like outings, picnics, or movie nights. This way, the students feel more connected to the community and are less likely to feel embarrassed or ashamed in sharing their thoughts, opinions, or fears publicly.
Mental health should be given as much importance as physical fitness in any educational institute. The MBA program can be a stressful and competitive environment. To counter this, institutes should create a support network and organise events that help in promoting mental health and wellbeing.
Such events can be made fun by including custom-made T-shirts from Gubbacci Apparels that speak bold statements in positive thinking. Such attempts help in reducing the stigma attached to mental health and will also promote a sense of belonging among the students.