The topic of mental wellness has been in the spotlight recently. Due to isolation caused by the pandemic, more Singaporeans have reported to be feeling the blues. With the Work From Home (WFH) arrangement changing the way we work, many have also raised the issue regarding mental wellness support in the workplace.
Many don’t seek professional help due to the costs involved
An often-cited reason for not seeking professional help are the costs involved. Mental wellness has been a taboo subject, especially in the past. Hence, many insurance plans do not include coverage for mental wellness, despite professional help being necessary in some cases.
Motivated by this reason and to help young people who cannot afford costly therapy, a group of youths created the mental health app called “Steady”. These SUTD students, Raphael Yee, Bryce Goh and Lee Wai Shun teamed up for the app so that users can chat with trained counsellors via the app.
Mr Yee, one of the creators of the app said, “You would think that because therapy is online, it would be much cheaper than in-person, but it can cost around $100 to $200 an hour. That’s not something a Gen Z student or a fresh graduate can afford every week.”
The app was launched in July and subscriptions start from $67 per month for students and full-time national servicemen.
Mr Yee said, “Instead of going to Instagram or Facebook where you could potentially view things that make you feel worse, we hope people can turn to an app like Steady to speak with a therapist.”
Certified courses to support mental wellbeing at workplaces
This focus on mental wellness is increasingly being shared by other youths.
Young NTUC has also launched the first WSQ-certified course to support mental wellbeing at workplaces. Those who have attended the course will learn to identify common stress indicators and how to support peers in need. This course is a collaboration between Young NTUC, the NTUC LearningHub and Singapore Anglican Community Services.
Upon completion of the course, those certified will become peer supporters. This enables them to provide peer-to-peer mental well-being support in workplaces. This can be as simple as learning how to initiate and strike conversations with peers and colleagues to render emotional support. Participants will also be taught how to set up a mental well-being support structure within their organisations.
Young NTUC adviser Desmond Choo, who attended the launch, said the pandemic has amplified the need for employers to take mental well-being seriously. The plan is to get 60 people trained as peer supporters at their workplaces by the end of the year and 200 by the end of next year, he said.
He also advised HR personnel to take the course, so that they can kickstart the culture of investing in employees’ mental health.
Good move towards better mental wellbeing in the workplace
It’s encouraging that an increasing emphasis is being placed on mental wellbeing. As the younger people take the lead in addressing this topic that was previously brushed aside, it is with great hope that the employees’ of the future will become more resilient.
“The work-from-home default arrangement is affecting my mental health.”