Forum: Take the first step by confiding in another person

It is heartening to see recent articles on mental health (It's OK to seek help now and not wait till things get serious, Aug 1) and Forum letters (Way forward on mental health is to normalise counselling, Aug 6).

It is important to encourage people to speak out if they feel troubled and seek help early if required.

Stigma, unfortunately, remains entrenched in our society.

Many also feel hesitant to talk about their mental health because they do not want to burden someone else with their thoughts and emotions.

In a survey of 211 people that online counselling platform Talk Your Heart Out conducted on staff well-being at the workplace (in partnership with crowdsourcing platform OPPi), we found some contradictory findings.

When participants were asked if they would be comfortable should a colleague confide in them about mental health issues, 84 per cent said yes.

But 54 per cent also agreed with the statement "I find it unnecessary to talk about my personal issues at the workplace since they do not affect my colleagues".

The takeaway is this: People want to help others but feel hesitant asking for help themselves.

While the culture at workplaces and schools will take time to change, Singaporeans can take small steps to push the needle.

They do not have to wait for the system or those in leadership positions to change before they have more open mental health conversations in school or at the workplace.

When was the last time you shared how you were feeling, with colleagues, classmates or juniors?

If you do, more often than not, you will find someone who cares and is actually willing to listen and provide support.

Chirag Agarwal

Founder

Talk Your Heart Out