According to an online Mental Well-being Survey by the Health Promotion Board [HPB], the mental well-being of working Singaporeans is lower than the general population by 13%. Further results from the HPB survey also shows that one in six working Singaporeans experiences a relatively high level of stress compared to one in ten non-working Singaporeans.
Although Singapore has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, its coverage on mental health care is still low. To improve the mental well-being of Singapore’s workplace, some MPs have raised the issue of coverage for workers with mental disorders. A study by the Singapore Mental Health Study [SMHS] found that about 14% of Singaporeans have experienced mood or anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
Mental health issues at the workplace should b taken seriously. But you find in most cases, the government or the companies don’t act quickly on these issues until when the situation is out of control. Mental health problems in the workplace may lead to an inability to concentrate, difficulty interacting with others, lack of stamina, difficulty handling time pressures and multiple tasks, trouble handling feedback, etc.
Ways to deal with mental illness in the workplace
The following are ways to deal with mental illness.
1. Understanding a mental illness
For you to address an issue, you first have to understand it. Mental illness refers to various mental health conditions that affect your mood, thinking, and behaviour. Examples of mental health disorders include depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, addictive behaviours, etc.
There are several sites, such as E-counseling.com, that talk about mental health illness, and people can access the information for free. Reading through these sites can help you know more about mental illness and how to cope with it.
2. Identifying the triggers
People have different triggers for depression and anxiety in the workplace. It can be when one is doing a representation, writing reports, or when out on a company function. Therefore, it’s important for one to figure out the situations that make them uncomfortable so that they can prepare.
Staffs who are not sure of the things that trigger their symptoms may keep a journal of the things that have led them to feel stressed so that they can identify them. The next thing is to do activities that can make you relaxed before the triggers come up. These activities can be taking a quick walk or stretching.
3. Getting help
You can seek treatment if you notice your symptoms are getting worse. Treatment can be through medications or psychotherapy.
There are four categories of medications used to treat mental health illness. They include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, mood-stabilizing medications, and antipsychotic medications. The type of medication you get depends on the symptoms you experience and other health problems you may have.
You can also try psychotherapy which involves talking with a mental health provider about your feelings, experiences, and thoughts. A therapist can help you to learn the coping techniques and strategies you can use to manage the symptoms.
There is some hope as far as mental health coverage is concerned. Several counselling firms have seen a rise in the number of corporate clients who want to give their employees more mental health support. Furthermore, Singapore leading Insurer AIA has launched Singapore’s first insurance policy that will offer coverage for mental illnesses. So for Singaporeans, this is good news because this will ensure that mental health patients receive quality treatment.