Stress causing many Singaporeans to miss work: report

'These figures are worrying because they continue to remain high despite greater awareness for self-care and community support'

Stress causing many Singaporeans to miss work: report

Nearly four in 10 Singaporeans have admitted that they took time off work due to stress in the past year, prompting renewed calls for employers to do better in taking care of their employees' wellbeing.

In an Ipsos survey among 1,001 Singaporeans, 24% said they felt stressed to the point of not being able go to work for a period at least once, while another 15% said this happened several times over the past year.

The situation comes as stress rose to the third spot in the list of health problems faced by Singaporeans, with 35% of the respondents citing this.

Another 46% cited mental health as the biggest health problem in Singapore, putting it first and just above cancer at 38%.

'Worrying' impact of stress

Melanie Ng, Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos in Singapore, said the findings reflect the impact of stress to Singaporeans' day-to-day lives.

"The percentage of Singaporeans feeling the impact of stress on their daily lives have decreased only marginally since COVID-19 became endemic, but the effects remain high and concerning," Ng said in a statement.

In fact, 55% of the respondents said they felt stressed to the point it impacted their daily lives, while 27% said they considered suicide or self-hurt at least once in the past year.

"These figures are worrying because they continue to remain high despite greater awareness for self-care and community support," Ng said.

Further actions from employers

Amid the findings, Ng underscored that it was critical for employers to improve their commitment towards employees' mental health.

This is even more important as only 54% of the respondents said mental and physical health are treated equally by Singapore's healthcare system, despite 78% giving both equal importance.

"It is indisputable that employers, governmental bodies, and communities must heighten their commitment towards enhancing preventative mental health care," Ng said.

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