Psychological Heath in BPO

In the Philippines, BPO workers are a major leg in the country’s economy. It’s an important sector (like the OFWs) that gives jobs/sustenance to quite a lot of Filipinos and their families.

Unfortunately, the work of call center agents has a built-in risk that can take a serious toll on their mental health and overall well-being.

A recent U.S.-based Washington Post investigation reports of one call center worker, Lester, who was haunted in his mind by what he sees during work.

Being a content moderator, Lester was exposed daily to reviewing suicides, massacres, and other forms of violence in his desk.

Having problems erasing those images in his mind would at times trigger flashbacks in Lester to the violence he reviewed in the office.

Entering a tall building, as an example, would cause him to entertain in his thoughts the possibility of jumping from it.

“I could not afford it, Doc, but I know I need it,” said a call center agent who once called me to seek mental health treatment.

He himself shared with me of fellow workers experiencing vicarious trauma who simply suffer mental breakdowns at their desks.

University of the Philippines Dean Sylvia Claudio told the Washington Post that she worries about a growing generation of young people suffering in silence in the BPO industry.

But according to the Post, the young workers reported to them that “the companies do not provide adequate support to address the psychological consequences of the work.”

Mental trauma or abuse of our call center agents is definitely as bad as physical abuse of their health.

I think the government and the private sector should look into the psychological health of our workers in BPO companies.

We have millions of our youth there ... the future and treasure of our land.

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