Posted 24th October by IonSG
A blog on Singapore current affairs. 新加坡时事博客。
"Even as we strive to maintain our competitive edge, let us build a compassionate society that cares for those among us who have taken hard knocks from the vicissitudes of life."
- Darius Lee
I agree that “With support, people with mental illness can perform well in many jobs” (Oct 19). We should not neglect those who suffer from mental illness, which is prevalent in a fast-paced society like Singapore.
According to a 2010 Singapore Mental Health Study spearheaded by the Institute of Mental Health, more than one in 10 Singaporeans will have a mental disorder in their lifetime.
We should support people who suffer from mental illness by giving them a chance at a stable job. This gives them greater economic independence and the opportunity to resume a normal life, integrated into the community.
Work plays an important role for a person recovering from a mental illness. The Canadian Psychiatric Association has explained that “the workplace provides a social support system and the opportunity for people to regain their sense of self-esteem, control and self-worth”.
One way to achieve this is through supported employment, which helps people with mental illness to participate as much as possible in the competitive labour market, working in jobs they prefer, with the level of professional help they need.
We may need more supported employment programmes like the Temasek Cares — Employment Support Services programme run by the Singapore Anglican Community Services.
More effort can be made to promote greater understanding and acceptance towards those who suffer from mental illnesses at our workplaces.
Even as we strive to maintain our competitive edge, let us build a compassionate society that cares for those among us who have taken hard knocks from the vicissitudes of life.
Employment Support Services (ESS) is a programme of Singapore Anglican Community Services. An evidence based support employment programme, it is established to help persons with mental illness to find competitive jobs.
Our Employment Specialists dedicate their best efforts and time in reaching out to the public and also helping individuals prepare, find and thrive in a job.
The Employment Specialists will assess each person individually, taking into account the individual's history, interests and preferences for everything from job location to workplace environment. The process is personalised, and the individual will receive attention to make employment a reality.
This individualised support provided by the Employment Specialists will maintain throughout the whole employment process, from the search, application, hire, to the sustainability of the job.
A mentally ill person has emotional or behavioural problems that need medical attention. Some are schizophrenic, depressed, or have eating disorders.
In 2008, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) treated 33,000 outpatients for disorders like schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.
With proper medication and help, they can function normally, explained Ms Porsche Poh, a board member of the World Federation for Mental Health and executive director of Silver Ribbon (Singapore), a group that works on improving attitudes towards mental health.
“Employers are hesitant to accept them; some have doubts over whether they will need lots of medical leave and if they will relapse at the workplace,” she said.
The boss of a cleaning company who was interviewed last week on Channel 8’s Frontline should be praised for giving people with mental illness a chance.
Various stereotypes of these sufferers have been created — especially on popular television shows — such as having an awkward gait, being incoherent, unable to handle criticism and, therefore, unproductive.
Anyone would face problems at some point in life. Some are fortunate to have family support, while others must struggle on their own.
In our society that expects immediate returns, are we neglecting people with mental illness trying to stand on their own feet?
Some fast-paced jobs, like customer service, and others requiring fast responses may be deemed taxing for people with mental illness. However, there are many other jobs they can perform well in, given a supportive environment and co-workers. Even healthy individuals prefer a helpful environment, but in the latter case, they have the skills to handle difficult people.
We should create a good working environment and help new colleagues, which is how we would like others to treat us, too. Let us all be considerate, to reduce undue stress.Posted 24th October by IonSG