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28 June 2022

From 30 May 2022 to 7 August 2022, the Interagency Taskforce on Mental Health and Well-being (“Taskforce”) is conducting a public consultation and seeking comments on its preliminary recommendations aimed at creating a caring and inclusive society where all can seek help and be supported to achieve mental health and well-being. The Taskforce was set up in July 2021 to oversee and coordinate mental health and well-being efforts in Singapore.

Preliminary recommendations for feedback

The Taskforce seeks public feedback on the preliminary recommendations which are organised across three focal areas.

  • Focus Area 1: Improve accessibility, coordination and quality of mental health services
  • Focus Area 2: Strengthen services and support for youth mental well-being
  • Focus Area 3: Improve workplace well-being measures and employment support

This article focuses on the recommendations under Focus Area 3 on improving workplace well-being measures and employment support.

More information about Focus Areas 1 and 2 (Recommendations 1 to 7) can be found in the REACH press release.

Improve workplace well-being measures and employment support

To strengthen workplace well-being measures and improve the employability of and employment support for persons with mental health conditions (“PMHC”), the Taskforce proposes five recommendations (Recommendations 8 to 12) for the public’s feedback.

Recommendations

Brief Description

Improve mental well-being support systems and work-life harmony strategies for employees in general (including PMHC), by partnering employers to increase awareness on mental health resources, and enhance support networks and assistance available through:

·         Appointing and training mental health champion(s) at every workplace

·         Training employees to take on the role of a peer supporter

·         Enhancing access and availability of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)

To support employers to put in place mental well-being support systems and work-life harmony strategies for employees in general.

Standardise assessment and referral frameworks for all employment support agencies to provide customised employment support services.

A streamlined common framework for all employment support agencies would enable the provision of customised services to PMHC with different needs in a regular manner. This would ensure consistent standards of care and support by the agencies.

Improve PMHC’s access to training by:

·         Developing additional on-the-job customised vocational training

·         Identifying suitable mainstream training courses and piloting accessibility arrangements for PMHC

·         Providing training allowances

To widen the training opportunities for PMHC and support them to complete training in order to be better prepared for employment.

Increase the number and variety of job opportunities available for PMHC through:

·         Encouraging employers to partner employment support agencies and Workforce Singapore (“WSG”) to provide support for PHMC

·         Addressing stigma in the workplace by amplifying success stories of inclusive employment and showcasing employers that put in place support for PMHC

Increase confidence in job fit for both PMHC and employers by encouraging more employers to tap on WSG’s attachment and trial programmes, and provide more job opportunities for PMHC through WSG’s career matching services.

Address stigma and misperceptions through showcasing examples and best practices.

Equip employers, HR practitioners, supervisors and colleagues with knowledge on supporting PMHC and creating inclusive workplaces, through support services and resources such as helplines and consultancy clinics.

To raise the abilities and confidence of employers, HR practitioners, supervisors and colleagues in implementing workplace adjustments and providing peer support to PMHC, and to build a supportive workplace culture.

Source: REACH press release

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the REACH website www.reach.gov.sg and MOH website www.moh.gov.sg: