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TAKING HEART

Mindset raises S$365,000 for mental health

Mindset Learning Hub beneficiary of Mindset Challenge & Carnival 2019 event

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Patrick Kwok, general manager of Starbucks Singapore, with the "Got skills, no luck" team - Chia Chong Zheng, Eric Kho and Gan Hong Chew - which emerged champion in the event (above) which comprised two obstacle courses and a vertical race.

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(Above in vest) Patrick Kwok, general manager of Starbucks Singapore, with the "Got skills, no luck" team - (from left) Chia Chong Zheng, Eric Kho and Gan Hong Chew - which emerged champion in the event which comprised two obstacle courses and a vertical race.

Singapore

"GOT skills, no luck" was the name of the team that represented Jardine Cycle & Carriage at The Mindset Challenge & Carnival 2019, which aimed to raise funds for mental health.

But apparently, the trio - Chia Chong Zheng, Gan Hong Chew and Eric Kho - had both elements as the team emerged champion in the event, which comprised two obstacle courses and a vertical race that involved tackling the steps of the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1.

The event, with its monopoly theme, raised S$365,000 this year for Mindset Learning Hub (MLH), a collaboration between Mindset Care Limited and Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

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MLH is Singapore's first Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) job training and placement centre for mental health persons-in-recovery (PIRs).

The long-standing fundraiser event of Mindset Care Limited - Jardine Matheson Group's registered charity - has raised more than S$2.5 million since its first edition in 2012.

Mr Gan said: "This is a good chance for us to do something fun together while also raising awareness for mental health issues. The number of people (participating in the event) is representative of the support needed to help persons-in-recovery reintegrate into society."

The guest of honour for the event was Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law & Ministry of Health, who flagged off the mass walk-up.

Mindset's new chairman Benjamin Birks said: "Jardines is a private sector leader not just in business but also in championing mental health. We are committed to doing our part for persons-in-recovery by offering job placements within our group of companies. We will continue to leverage our networks to encourage our business associates to join us in supporting a more inclusive workplace."

He added that from next year, the Mindset Challenge & Carnival will raise funds for DigitalMINDSET, a programme that helps youth cope with mental health conditions arising from excessive gaming and device use.

A study by the National Council of Social Services shows that one in two persons are not willing to live with, live near or work with persons with mental health conditions. Such attitudes stand in the way of creating an inclusive society and workplace for PIRs.

Mr Birks said: "One of the ways in which we have been working hard to combat stigma is the launch of our first flagship project, Mindset Learning Hub. The facility was set up in partnership with the Singapore Association for Mental Health to provide certified job training and help place PIRs in the workforce ... To coordinate our efforts in fighting social stigma, we recently partnered the Institute of Mental Health, National Council of Social Services, Agency for Integrated Care and Health Promotion Board, to host 500 delegates from 24 countries at the 9th International Together Against Stigma Conference, in Singapore."

Yvonne Low, manager of MLH, said that the challenge when interacting with PIRs is that they come with different levels of readiness, and individualised work goes into preparing them for employment.

Ms Low added: "For most who suffer from mental health issues since they were teens, there were many lost years. They have a lot of drive but are sometimes lacking in certain areas such as social and relational skills, and problem-solving ability. So, before we place them in employment, we have talks with both parties to let them know they are both supported."

Ngo Lee Yian, executive director of SAMH, said: "It will be good if we can have something similar to Open Door funds that support employers in recruiting PIRs. One other thing that can be done to help this group of people is to exclude the question about mental health on employment forms to promote inclusive employment and avoid discriminating a potential candidate just on grounds of mental illness."

Ms Ngo added that employers should keep an open mind should such a question come up in an interview, and not let the issue eclipse the person's capabilities.