Those with mental issues can take on front-line jobs too

Every effort should be made to help ease recovering mental health patients back into society (Call to offer 'quality jobs' to those with mental health issues, July 19).

People who have mental health conditions can become independent and useful members of the community if they are gainfully employed. However, employers must not have the notion that such workers are more suitable for back-end roles or operations behind the scenes.

To quicken their recovery process, they must interact with people as this would rehabilitate them and enhance their quality of life. Jobs in retail stores and fast-food outlets can offer them opportunities to communicate with customers, as this will help them develop a sense of self-confidence and security.

As some mentally disadvantaged people have had years of work experience, they can use their talents and skills to benefit the organisations which engage them, especially those who are professionals.

It is true that employers have had to put up with inconveniences when hiring people recovering from mental ailments, but this can be overcome if managers and supervisors try to understand the background or problems of such workers under their charge.

A sense of empathy and human touch should prevail in an organisation that invests in workers with mental health issues.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2019, with the headline 'Those with mental issues can take on front-line jobs too'. Print Edition | Subscribe