Ensure maids can easily get the help they need

Reading the report on April 11 ("Maids trained to be counsellors to peers") has made me realise that the welfare of domestic helpers is just as important as that of anyone else.

Working and living in a place far away from home is never an easy feat.

Foreign workers help build this nation together with us, whether they are construction workers who help improve infrastructure, or domestic helpers who lift the burden from many working people's shoulders.

Yet, in times of mental distress, how many of them actually get the help they ought to receive?

I applaud the initiative by the National University of Singapore and the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics to provide training for maids to recognise signs of mental stress and to equip them with counselling skills.

Maids will, no doubt, be more comfortable talking about their difficulties with fellow maids, and this is where the initiative will prove to be effective.

Maids who have gone through training will then be able to provide help to those suffering from mental stress within their community.

While this does not completely eradicate the problem, it is a step towards improving the current situation.

Domestic workers are just as vulnerable to psychological distress as the rest of us.

So, it is important to ensure help is easily accessible to those who need it.

Amelia Leong Kay Wai (Miss)

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