Posted on 26/11/2020 by Paula Formantes
With the COVID-19 pandemic still around, MOM has set up a new task force that helps to improve the awareness of mental health issues among migrant workers and provide better support for those who need such care.
Some mental health support initiatives have already been set in place even before the COVID-19 pandemic such as the Nascent Mental Health Programme which was launched during Circuit Breaker, Tele-counselling Services were introduced via Zoom or viz telephone for the workers in their native languages.
Apart from these aids, there is also Forward Assurance and Support Team (FAST) officers who are stationed at dormitories to help migrant workers in psychological first aid and will extend such training to all new and existing FAST officers.
Once all these aids have been set up in place, only then the third layer of prevention would be set up to ensure those who need specialist care to get help and continued support for recovery.
For example, NGOs such as MWC will include Mental Health Education in its programme to help new migrant workers settle in from next year and frontline workers, dormitory operators, and employers will be trained to better detect at-risk workers and refer them to care accordingly.
Besides not being able to go out and meet their friends, having lost their jobs or being retrenched, some have not been paid their salaries and some have faced difficulty going home despite having urgent family issues.
By ensuring and committing to making sure to focus on not only their physical wellness but also the mental well-being of the migrant workers, Singaporeans too will be more accepting of mental health issues, which can happen to anyone due to stressful situations.
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