Do you know someone who is suffering from mental health issues?
The month of May was observed as the Mental Health Month mainly in the United States, but here in Singapore we would like to use this opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to stop the stigma associated with it. According to Business Insider, one in seven people in Singapore have experienced a mental health issue. And amongst these, depression was the most common in Singapore with one in 16 having had the condition at some point in their lives.
Professor Kwok Kian Woon from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) suggested that those within the age group of 18 to 34, experience many changes in their lives. Experts also pointed out that this could be because of multiple transitions in life, both emotionally and socially that put young people at risk of experiencing mental health issues.
Why do we need to raise awareness?
Although more people are now seeking treatment earlier, most of these sufferers did not seek any professional help. And even the small proportion of people (less than 25%) who did seek help took years to do so. Social stigma is one of the greatest contributing factor as to why Singaporeans either do not seek professional help or some even choose to downplay their actual state of mental health. There are also negative associations with mental illness such as a sign of weakness or instability that too deter people from seeking help. It is important to understand that is absolutely alright and in fact, normal to face these challenges and seek professional advice.
Understanding your mental health
According to Institute of Mental Health, good mental health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is more than just being free of depression, anxiety or other psychological issues. Mental health is really about how we think, feel and act as we cope with our lives. It determines how we handle stress, related to others and make choices. It is important to take charge of your mental health and as such, we all need to learn how to build our mental resilience and manage life’s ups and downs. It is also crucial to recognise when you or a loved one may need help from a professional.
How is SThree helping our people?
We have introduced our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in which practical information and counselling on a variety of topics will be made available to our people. As part of this programme, information can be provided over the phone or via email whilst counselling is offered at a time and location convenient to our employees.
What are some of the key benefits of the EAP?
- No cost to the employee
- It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You will be able to speak with a professional at any time of the day and night, weekends or even over holidays.
- You will have access to 5 counselling sessions per issue, per year
- All help is strictly confidential – this information is not disclosed to the business nor if you contacted the provider. However we are here to support if you feel it appropriate
- This is an independent and impartial source of support where the EAP does not represent any organisation including SThree
What can the EAP provide support on?
The EAP is able to provide a wide range of work or personal issues. Some examples are listed below (but not limited to):
- Improving relationships (personally and professionally)
- Couples’ support
- Managing stress
- Managing life changes
- Career success
- Surviving the loss of the loved one
- Managing workplace pressure
- Improving esteem and confidence
- Referrals to local financial or legal resources
- Pursuing personal interests
- Maintaining physical health
We hope that the EAP is an avenue for our people to seek professional help when needed. We understand that everyone faces a different level of stress whether personally or professional. Moreover this is a great way to raise awareness on the importance of mental health. As an organisation, we want to let our people know that it is ok to not be ok.
If you wish to find out more, you may contact Aveline Tan, our HR colleague, responsible for Health and Welfare Benefits in Singapore (along with APAC & MENA) at [email protected]