In this episode of Conversations@Jazz we host Jazz’s Employee Counselor, Faaiza Haroon to speak about the many mental health problems arising with professional life and even more so with the recent outbreak of Coronavirus. 

“It’s quite a challenge to destigmatize mental health,” Faaiza told us, speaking about how the society at large still doesn’t take mental health seriously, “People feel judged for having mental issues because of how society treats it,” she added stressing on the fact that self-disclosure is of the utmost importance when someone is not feeling like their usual self. Faaiza also told us how most of the people who come to see her confess that they felt the need to do so but didn’t because they thought they shouldn’t. 

We discussed the common mental health issues, their causes, and how they are seen in the society of Pakistan. “People get away with being angry and we have normalized it to the point where we no longer see it as a mental health issue,” said Faaiza. Also speaking about domestic violence, one of Pakistan’s issues at large and one behind the ruin of many lives, Faaiza noted how the self-confidence of a woman in such situations is the driving force behind her ability to speak up against the violence. “Empowered women find this easy to do, which is why more women need to be empowered and set an example” she added. 

We discussed with Faaiza whether there are things in the Pakistani corporate culture that contributes to the mental health issues in people. She helped us understand how the attitude of people really matters. “People want compassion and understanding leadership, not negligence,” she said. 

Owing to how Jazz has multiple levels of stopping abuse, Faaiza explained how the support system at Jazz works and the confidence people can have in her. “The best thing is to talk about issues. If someone emails me, nobody knows about it and no names are taken” she assured everyone at Jazz. “I do this for the people. Everyone who sits across me is the most important person”, said Faaiza, explaining how her obligation is to the people who come to her and that her door always stays open at Jazz for all those with any sort of mental issues. Enforcing her stance on seeking help, Faiza said counseling is the best form of helping yourself to change yourself from negativity to positivity. Employees at Jazz can approach Faiza, something she insists they do if they do not feel like themselves, something they might even know is happening.

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