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Jobs can help the mentally ill

More can be done to help long-term mentally ill patients rehabilitate and ease back into society ("More outings to help IMH patients adapt"; last Sunday).

Patients who have the opportunity to make decisions and solve problems, as well as interact with people outside the confines of hospital grounds, will be more self-reliant after they are discharged.

Teaching them life skills and offering them jobs will help them develop a sense of security and self-confidence, which will go a long way towards rehabilitating them to become independent and useful members of society.

While it is true that the psychiatrist and social worker can better manage the psycho-social rehabilitation process, family members and friends should also help normalise the patient's life.

Most people with past mental ailments are able to earn their keep and re-integrate into the community, especially when they are appreciated by others and feel useful.

Above all, we must treat these people with respect and empathy as we strive to build more inclusive communities.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Jobs can help the mentally ill'. Print Edition | Subscribe