Chief Executives and Key leaders pledged to champion mental wellbeing in Singapore workplace

Press Release, WorkWell Leaders Workgroup, 17 Oct 2019

WorkWell Leaders Workgroup’s 1st CEOs+Leaders Breakfast Dialogue, 17 Oct 2019, PWC Singapore

Press Release

[EMBARGOED TILL 17 OCTOBER 2019, 10.30AM (SG time)]

Chief Executives and KEY leaders PLEDGED to champion mental wellbeing in singapore workplace

According to the 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study by the Institute of Mental Health published in 2018, 1 in 7 adults in Singapore experiences a mental health condition in their lifetime, and more than three-quarters do not seek help. Stigma was one of the seven common reasons for not seeking help, which also included financial concerns and the perception that the problem went away by itself. Mental health was one of the three themes at the 2018 World Economic Forum’s agenda, alongside technology disruption and climate change. The Lancet Report predicts that, by 2030, the cost to the global economy of all mental health issues could amount to $16 trillion.

Today, evidence shows that investing in workplace mental wellbeing is not only the right thing but also the smart thing to do, to improve productivity and long-term business sustainability. A 2017 survey of 505 companies by the National Council of Social Service found that for every S$1 invested in workplace adjustments (such as flexible work arrangement, job redesign, etc), it generated an average return of S$5.60 which include a reduction in absenteeism and medical claims and an increase in productivity.

Recognising that leaders play a key role in integrating wellbeing in their company because they can influence change and shape the company’s vision, purpose and culture, the WorkWell Leaders Workgroup organised its first ever CEOs+Leaders Dialogue session at PwC Singapore on 17 October 2019.

20 CEOs and key leaders from both the private and public sectors, including Hsieh Fu Hua and NMP Anthea Ong, met in the closed-door dialogue to address the need for leaders to champion workplace wellbeing as a strategic priority. The leaders learned with, and from each other, as they shared strategic and practical insights on employee mental health within their respective organisations.

Workplace wellbeing has a direct impact on productivity and innovation, and in the quality of life of employees. “Every employee is a member of our society. Therefore it is clear that a caring, inclusive, innovative and resilient Singapore can only come from caring, inclusive, innovative and resilient workplaces. As leaders, this is our contribution to making a difference to our society through making workplace wellbeing a strategic imperative. This is our responsibility, and legacy,” Anthea Ong, founder and spokesperson of the WorkWell Leaders Workgroup.

To seal their commitment, the leaders signed a joint pledge at the end of the dialogue to champion and prioritise mental wellbeing within their organisations, and the wider Singapore workforce. They will be continuing the conversation and share best practices in subsequent CEOs+Leaders Dialogue sessions, with new CEO participants. Through these dialogues, the leaders will co-create Singapore’s first cross-sector workplace mental wellbeing commitment and high-level roadmap.


Media Contact and Enquiries

Anthea Ong

Founder/CEO, Hush TeaBar (Workplace Wellbeing/Inclusive Employment)

Founder/Leader, WorkWell Leaders Workgroup (Workplace Welbeing Leadership)

About the WorkWell Leaders Workgroup

Formed in May 2018, the WorkWell Leaders Workgroup is an action-oriented community of leaders from various companies, and national agencies who champion workplace mental wellbeing as a leadership priority through cross-sector collaboration and sharing of best practices. Last year, in conjunction with World Mental Health Day on 10th October, the Workgroup rallied over 60 employers to take action in raising awareness for mental health by sharing the video ‘Beyond the Label’, as part of a national campaign by NCSS against mental health stigma. The Workgroup is currently a volunteer-run ground-up initiative made up of only leaders in C-suite, HR and diversity/inclusion who can influence change in their respective organisations, and also beyond.

About the Joint Pledge

“On this day, 17 October 2019, at the CEO+Leaders Breakfast Dialogue, we, the undersigned, pledge that we will champion mental wellbeing within our organisations and the wider Singapore workforce.”

The participating CEOs, leaders and organisations are (in no particular order):

· Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, Chairman-Board of Trustees, National University of Singapore

· Mr Koh Khai Yang, APAC Chairman, Wood Mackenzie

· Mr Puneet Chaddha, CEO & Head of Southeast Asia, HSBC Global Asset Management

· Ms Teoh Zsin Woon, Deputy Secretary, Public Service Division, Prime Minister’s Office

· Mr Toshiya Yoshida, CEO of Nomura Singapore Limited

· Professor John Wong, Chief Executive, NUHS

· Mr How Ti-Hwei, Country President, AstraZeneca Singapore

· Ms Maureen DeRooij, CEO, WWF Singapore

· Mr Tan Kwang Cheak, CEO, Agency for Integrated Care

· Mr Sim Gim Guan, CEO, National Council of Social Service

· Ms Peta Latimer, CEO, Mercer Singapore

· Dr Daniel Tan, CEO (Parkway Laboratory Services and Angsana Molecular and Diagnostic Laboratory), Parkway Pantai

· Professor Chua Hong Choon, Deputy Group CEO, National Healthcare Group

· Mr Sam Kok Weng, Partner & Leadership Team Member, PwC Singapore

· Mr Paul Fong, Country Manager, Dow Singapore and Malaysia

· Mr Eric Goh, Vice President & Managing Director, Dell Singapore

· Mr Eugene Leong, COO Global Oil Eastern Hemisphere, Integrated Supply and Trading, BP

· Mr Bob Grove, COO, Edelman Asia Pacific

· Ms Anthea Ong, Founder/CEO, Hush TeaBar & A Good Space