Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Mental health awareness at work starts at the top, say panellists in last episode of TODAY’s webinar series

SINGAPORE — Establishing a culture of mental health awareness at the workplace starts at the top. It begins with higher management framing workplace mental well-being as an asset or priority, Mr Cho Ming Xiu said. Mr Cho, founder of Campus PSY (Peer Support for Youths) — a non-profit organisation that promotes mental health awareness — was speaking during a webinar on Thursday (Dec 3).

(From left) CNA presenter Elizabeth Neo, TODAY journalist Justin Ong, Campus PSY founder Cho Ming Xiu and Common Ground programme director Khee Shi Hui were speaking at the last episode of TODAY’s four-part Instagram Live webinar series.

(From left) CNA presenter Elizabeth Neo, TODAY journalist Justin Ong, Campus PSY founder Cho Ming Xiu and Common Ground programme director Khee Shi Hui were speaking at the last episode of TODAY’s four-part Instagram Live webinar series.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

  • TODAY’s Instagram Live series presented its fourth lunchtime webinar 
  • Speakers talked about mental health at the workplace
  • Mental health awareness starts with the bosses, but employees can also take the initiative, panellists said
  • They said that community support and individual routines are both important for maintaining mental health

 

SINGAPORE — Establishing a culture of mental health awareness at the workplace starts at the top. It begins with higher management framing workplace mental well-being as an asset or priority, Mr Cho Ming Xiu said. Mr Cho, founder of Campus PSY (Peer Support for Youths) — a non-profit organisation that promotes mental health awareness — was speaking during a webinar on Thursday (Dec 3).

“And then from top-down, even for the midline managers, they will also take this into consideration. And then for the staff on the ground itself, they will benefit from this,” he said.

However, employees themselves can also take the initiative to introduce mental health support structures to the workplace, Ms Khee Shi Hui said. The programme director of social innovation consultancy Common Ground advised: “Take it to your management or your HR team. Maybe they just need that little idea to spark off something for your organisation.”

Ms Khee and Mr Cho were panellists for the last episode of TODAY’s four-part Instagram Live webinar series. They were joined by TODAY journalist Justin Ong for the episode, titled Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health. The webinar was moderated by CNA presenter Elizabeth Neo.

Mental health has come to the forefront because of Covid-19. On Nov 17, the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation released an advisory, providing guidance and resources on mental well-being to companies.

Responding to a question on how employees may approach their bosses regarding workplace stress, Mr Ong said: “There comes a point where you ask yourself, 'Is it worth going through all that for my work'?”

He added that it is important to let bosses know when work has taken a toll.

Mr Cho said that employees may seek community support from other team members.

The need for social media validation can also impact one’s mental health, he added, because users usually try to portray their best side online.

“Working with young people, having dialogues and conversations with them, they mentioned that if they post something and if they don’t get 'likes' for the first few minutes, they will remove it, and then they will post a new one,” he said.

Ms Khee said that it is important for people to understand their relationship with social media — which are the profles or accounts that make them more stressed and then consider unfollowing them.

Both Ms Khee and Mr Cho said that the stigma around mental health has decreased over the years, with younger people now comfortable talking about the issue due to more education and public awareness.

When providing support to others, Mr Cho said that it is important to have a community. “In the event that you burned out, then you have a buddy who can support you,” he said.

On the individual level, Ms Khee said that sometimes, it’s “about the basics... about sleeping well, eating well”.

The panellists also spoke about how they take care of their own mental health.

Ms Khee said that she takes long walks without her phone and enjoys being in silence.

Mr Cho also said that he enjoys long walks in nature. On weekends in the wee hours of the morning, he would walk from Sengkang to Marina Bay Sands. “It clears your mind,” he added.

Similarly, Mr Ong runs four to five times a week and built a strong support group of friends around himself — “people I could talk to about anything”, he said.

Ms Khee said that those who want to better understand mental health may visit Mindline.sg, which directs visitors to suitable resources, and the National Council of Social Service’s Beyond the Label campaign, which addresses stigma faced by people with mental health conditions.

WHERE TO GET HELP

  • Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444 (24 hours)

  • Singapore Association of Mental Health: 1800-283-7019 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)

  • Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800 (10am-10pm)

  • Individuals may also email pat [at] sos.org.sg.

Related topics

TODAYonline mental health webinar social media

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.