New guidebook to help case workers manage clients with mental health issues

SINGAPORE - Volunteers who work with clients with potential mental health issues now have a resource guide to guide them through common scenarios they might face.

The 53-page book, titled Mental Health Resource Kit: Guidelines for Case Workers, gives examples on what case workers can do in 11 specific scenarios, such as when the clients suffer a panic attack or are in distress.

For example, the book suggests that case workers maintain appropriate eye contact and stay as still as possible when clients show volatile behaviours,, as excessive movements could agitate the them further.

The guide, released by the Social Service Institute (SSI), lets case workers draw on detailed advice instead of only relying on their own experience when working with such clients.

It provides tips on how to work with caregivers, who might be stressed and vulnerable as well.

It also covers the most common mental illnesses such as depression, dementia and psychosis, and their respective onset, signs and symptoms.

The guide also compiles a comprehensive list of mental health services and clinical resources in Singapore that provide professional help to both clients and caregivers.

Interested voluntary welfare organisation practitioners can write in to SSI to request for the guidebook or read it at SSI's resource hub at TripleOne Somerset.

SSI will also give out the guidebook to participants of its training programmes on mental health.