Tie-up to boost mental, physical well-being of employees

A new collaboration will reach out to businesses to promote better mental and physical well-being of workers - through dialogues and cheaper healthcare products.

Lutheran Community Care Services (LCCS) has partnered local pharmaceutical manufacturer ICM Pharma to take the healthcare goods to workplaces and encourage wellness practices such as conflict management and building relationships.

LCCS will connect with employees through dialogues helmed by its staff to facilitate conversations on relationship management and mental well-being. The project aims to work with 100 companies by the end of 2023.

LCCS executive director Justin Mui said: "Through the supplying of healthcare products for employees, employers demonstrate that the workplace culture emphasises the well-being of staff."

ICM Pharma will offer care packs of hand sanitiser and mouthwash at $4.90, half the market price, according to LCCS.

Minister for Social And Family Development Masagos Zulkifli announced the collaboration yesterday in a speech at LCCS' 5th Restorative Conference, which highlights the need for a whole-of-society effort in promoting wellness and strengthening relationships.

He said that during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, certain social issues such as family violence and mental health were brought to the fore.

"Some of these could have been exacerbated by the stress, conflict and disconnection that individuals have been facing in their families, communities and workplaces," he added.

A 2021 survey by software firm Oracle found that nearly seven in 10 residents in Singapore said that 2021 was the most stressful year at work, with more than half struggling increasingly with their mental health at work compared with the year before.

Mr Masagos noted that these issues cannot be solved by just one agency or sector alone but also requires the people as well as private and public sectors to come together.

To reach out to the private sector, LCCS launched a Workforce Skills Qualifications course on building workplace relationships through restorative practices in December last year. It aims to equip professionals from all sectors to build a positive workplace culture for the improvement of employees' well-being.

The online conference's first day was attended by more than 150 people who tuned in to a dialogue on creating an inclusive workplace.

Panellist Angela Jackson, senior vice-president of diversity, equity and inclusion at financial services firm Athene, said breaking down barriers and building bridges between employers and employees is one of the best ways to develop a sense of loyalty among staff.

"Allow people room and space to breathe, be an empathetic leader. It is a skill set that is undervalued but so appreciated," she added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2022, with the headline Tie-up to boost mental, physical well-being of employees. Subscribe