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Written Answer by Minister for Manpower on Youth Mental Well-being

NOTICE PAPER NO. 337 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 05 APRIL 2021

QUESTION NO. 849 FOR ORAL ANSWER

MP: Mr Seah Kian Peng

To ask the Minister for Manpower given the rise of mental health issues among our young people, what measures are in place for workers especially the younger workforce.

1. The government has established several initiatives that support the mental well-being of our younger workforce. From our engagements, the key stressors they face are in seeking employment and in transiting into work, including coping with new job demands.

2. The National Youth Council (NYC) has launched Youthopia in October 2020, a digital destination for youth to keep up with trends and connect with fellow youth on issues that matter to them. Youths can access GradGoWhere, a toolkit with career-related resources in the areas of career guidance, readiness, opportunities and upskilling; as well as the Mental Well-being toolkit which includes a myriad of mental health assessment tools and support helplines. We encourage younger workers to visit Youthopia to find relevant career and mental health resources for themselves to support their transition into work.

3. Another initiative is the Youth Mental Well-being (YMWB) Network supported by MSF, MOH and MOE. It was set up in February 2020 to generate ideas and implement ground-up projects to support youth mental well-being, such as strengthening peer support in workplaces.

4. Beyond supporting younger workers specifically, MOM has introduced initiatives to support the mental well-being of all workers, regardless of age. MOM encourages employers to sign up for iWorkHealth, an online workplace psychosocial health assessment tool to find out their employees’ overall state of mental well-being and the stress factors at work. The company report provides a breakdown of the mental well-being scores by age group, as long as there are at least 8 responses in that age category. This will enable employers to better understand the mental well-being of younger workers.

5. The Tripartite Advisory (TA) on Mental Well-being for Workplaces, launched last year, recommends what employers can do to support their employees’ mental well-being. For instance, employers can gain access to free mental well-being talks under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council’s Total WSH Programme and tap on Health Promotion Board’s Workplace Outreach Wellness (WOW) Package which promotes workplace health programmes, including mental health workshops based on companies’ readiness and their employees’ needs.

6. While these initiatives are in place to support workers’ mental well-being in the workplace, they can only complement individuals’ own efforts to take care of their mental well-being, stay active, connected with friends and family, and seek help when required.