Addressing The Mental Health Of Singapore Youth Entering The Workforce

Young adults at any given moment are juggling their education, hobbies, passions, friendships, athletics, family responsibilities, and more. This overwhelming load of obligations can no doubt take a toll on their mental health. 

So, what about youth who are also going into employment? As you can imagine, young adults going into the workforce – especially post-pandemic – can struggle with additional mental health concerns. 

What is Singapore doing to address this? Is there anything being done to support youth entering the workforce?

Mental Health Facts of Singapore Youth

In order to understand why there is such a need to support Singapore youth entering the workforce, let’s take a look at a few concerning facts:

  • Adolescence and early adulthood have been scientifically studied and concluded to be the most common period when mental illnesses begin to present themselves.
  • The Singapore Mental Health Study, conducted in 2016, showed a strong link between younger age and the prevalence of mental health disorders.
  • Ages 18-34 had the highest lifetime prevalence of mental illnesses 
  • A study done in 2017 concluded that mental illnesses were the most common cause of years lost due to disease in Singapore citizens aged 10 to 34.
  • Mood disorders have been shown to be the most common form of mental illness in Singapore youth. 

The National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) Taskforce

In early May of this year, the NTUC gave a statement informing the public of their intention to create a task force prioritizing the needs of young workers transitioning into the workforce. The NTUC elaborated by touching on the difficulties many Singapore youth face as they begin their employment journey, such as mounting stress and anxiety over the uncertainty of what may lie ahead. 

With passion and motivation to “look at the needs of the workforce of our future – our youth”, the National Trades Union Congress plans to finalize its strategy to engage 10,000 youth within the next 12 to 18 months. 

What Are The Main Goals Of The NTUC’s Taskforce?

As the National Trades Union Congress plans to fully support and encourage youth entering the workforce, they recognize that this specific demographic has unique needs that need to be addressed. Taking these into account, the NTUC has main goals it wishes to accomplish with this new task force:

  • Gain a clear understanding of the work-life needs of the younger working generation 
  • Push for better working conditions and wage raises 
  • Redesign job roles 
  • Increase minimum wage 

While the NTUC promises to continue fighting for more flexible, and healthier work environments for all, the scope of its mission for youth is to reach out and engage with them in order to deeply understand their worries, fears, anxiety, and hesitation about joining the workforce. 

By understanding the mental state of Singapore youth becoming employed, they can implement and push for better workspaces, and ensure teens have the resources to turn to when they feel overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious. 

What Inspired The NTUC To Create This Taskforce?

A study was conducted with the Singapore University of Technology and Design that inspired the National Trades Union Congress to create this monumental task force. 

This particular study found that the top three burdens weighing on youth entering the workforce were: career opportunities, money, and their own mental health (depression, anxiety, and stress). 

Elaborating even further, out of the 1,039 teens that participated in this study, a large majority of them stated they would lean on family or friends for support, rather than a therapist or an organization like the NTUC. 

Upon finding this data, the NTUC began to understand that youth mental health needs to be protected and nurtured at all costs in order to establish a healthy, well rounded future workforce.  

Can Counseling Help Youths Entering The Workforce?

In addition to the emerging task force created by the NTUC, young adults entering the age of employment, or who are already employed can greatly benefit from seeing a psychologist in Singapore with expertise in this area. 

The age of employment comes with it many challenges: learning how to manage a new work-life balance, uncertainty of the future, financial stress, and more. Counseling can help break those thoughts and feelings down into manageable pieces in order to work through them effectively. 

Becoming employed for the first time can bring on a host of stress – causing young adults immense amounts of anxiety. If your child has had trouble sleeping lately, or can’t seem to stop worrying excessively, there’s no harm in taking them to a certified mental health professional.  

If you’re a parent of a young adult and you feel as though your child has begun to isolate themselves, or has lost passion for activities they used to love, it could be a sign of depression. A consultation with a psychiatrist in Singapore will be able to help diagnose and ascertain if depression treatment is a beneficial option for them. 

How Medical Clinics Are Helping Teen’s Mental Health As They Enter The Workforce

In addition to NTUC’s task force, there are mental health professionals in Singapore with the desire to help struggling youth. 

Young adults who have recently started a new job and don’t feel they are adjusting as well as they should, or teens that spend hours and hours obsessing over their performance at work are encouraged to seek help.

These symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression over a drastic life change are normal. However, these emotions can quickly snowball into something much bigger, and both psychiatrists and psychologists in Singapore know this. 

In mental health clinics like Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, knowledgeable and caring clinicians are ready and available to assist young adults in navigating the troubles that can come with this new chapter of life. 

Evidence based, non-judgmental techniques are used to help youth return to a normal emotional balance.