Minister Gan Siow Huang shared practical guidance on wellbeing during the launch of the ‘Wellbeing Champions Network’.
Singapore's Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang has talked about the setting up of the ‘Workplace Mental Wellbeing Champions Network’ on 20 November 2023 at a dialogue on workplace mental well-being, held at PSB Academy.
The Network aims to forge a stronger momentum for employers to create a more supportive workplace. Additionally, it will serve as a platform to exchange ideas and best practices with one another and grant access to various resources and training opportunities to strengthen one’s understanding on safeguarding mental wellbeing.
Based on a factsheet released by the Ministry of Manpower, the Network will function as a community of practice to:
- Discuss and seek advice on company initiatives or employee mental wellbeing,
- Create and share strategies, case studies, and best practices for workplace mental wellbeing,
- Offer training to empower champions in supporting their peers, and
- Seed and testbed ideas or initiatives.
As of the time of publication, 32 companies are already part of the Network. Some of these include:
- Animal & Avian Veterinary Clinic (AAVC)
- DBS Bank
- Jardine Matheson Singapore
- Shell Singapore
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital
In this context, Minister Gan urged workplace wellbeing champions to take action on the following three areas:
- Rally senior management to implement policies and support employees’ mental wellbeing;
- Organise and curate mental wellbeing programmes and resources; and
- Establish a system to refer persons in distress to professional help.
She also cited other initiatives that have been implemented to support workplace wellbeing such as the expansion of Tripartite Advisory (TA) on Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The expansion of the TA took two years to gather ideas and inputs from various experts within the workgroup as well as the public and was then curated such that employers would benefit in fostering their employees’ mental wellbeing.
Minister Gan said: "The key to strengthening mental wellbeing at workplaces is to assess and identify employees’ needs and adopt initiatives that best address these needs, leveraging available resources."
Employers are encouraged to implement practices like creating a peer support system and hiring job-ready individuals with mental health conditions, to access a wider talent pool and build a more inclusive workplace.
“While these practices are newly added to the TA, I know that many of the progressive companies like yours [addressing the attendees], have already started on this journey.
“Peer supporters can help employers create supportive environments for employees and destigmatise mental health issues at work.” Minister Gan added.
Lead photo / 123RF