Collective action needed to create caring, inclusive workplaces
Mental illness still carries social stigma in Singapore. So, it is no surprise that a high percentage of people recovering from mental conditions are excluded from gainful employment (People with mental illness deserve a shot at work; Oct 7, 2017).
Aside from employing deaf people as facilitators, Hush TeaBar – a not-for-profit social enterprise that I founded – also hires people in recovery and people with mental health issues for corporate functions.
Supporting a team completely made up of differently abled people has not been a walk in the park. Yet, over the last 15 months, this team has run all the Hush projects at different workplaces on their own.
I now know it is definitely possible. We just had to retool the work environment, redesign work processes as well as listen and empower to be inclusive and productive.
So in early May this year, 20 leaders – including C-suite executives and the heads of human resources, corporate social responsibility as well as diversity and inclusion – and I came together to form the WorkWell Leaders Workgroup (WLW) to create a network of employers that specifically champions for workplace well-being as a leadership priority.
This is a lofty private-sector-driven effort to address mental wellness in