Academy of Human Development

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UEN No/CPE Reg No: 199900986N
(Reg. Period: 20 May 2016 - 19 Aug 2020)

“I am more than my label” – Working with mental health illness issues more constructively


Research alerts us that up to 30-35% of adults will experience symptoms which meet a diagnosis of mental illness at some time in their working lives. 

Some will have received a diagnosis from a medical or allied health professional. Some will have self-diagnosed using Google. Some will reveal this to their workplace; some will not. Some will reveal this to coaches, trainers, managers and team leaders, HR practitioners, school counsellors and OD facilitators; some will not. Some will wear their label with pride; some with shame. 

It is highly likely that anyone working with adults in the workplace, will knowingly or not, be working with people facing difficulties with their mental health. This offers both opportunities to make a significant difference in people’s lives, as well as the concern “Am I sufficiently skilled to engage with this?” Sadly, the future is likely to see an increase in mental illness and mental health issues affecting both individuals and organisations negatively. 

This course is designed to turn the tide away from the negative down spirals associated with mental health issues towards constructive, pragmatic conversations and interactions that reduce stigma and social exclusion and support people with mental health issues to live constructive and worthwhile everyday lives. 


Course Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • have engaged with updating their understanding of concepts such as mental health and mental illness, and have located how these issues are significant in their particular contexts. 
  • developed a framework for noticing signs of mental health issues that people report in the everyday language rather than in professional jargon. 
  • reviewed and expanded their repertoires for conducting constructive conversations around mental health issues without slipping into territory that is beyond their particular scope of practice. We will use examples from participants’ own experiences, s well as examples provider by the trainer. 
  • practised specific skills, for example, conducting coping conversations; helping  clients in building a productive day via signs and small steps; identifying and mobilising a support network; together designing a plan to prevent things from getting worse, activating referrals and shared services without creating confusion and complications.
  • reviewed and refined guidelines for when to refer, and when to access supervision.

Course Content

  • The opportunity to develop language and definitions of mental health that go beyond the absence of mental illness. What does is mean to be mentally well / healthy? How does this look and sound in everyday work and life?
  • a short TED Talk style presentation to present a constructively disrupting perspective on mental illness and mental health. It will invite participants to reflect on and possibly re-think how we can respond more constructively, still maintain sound ethics, and be within the scope of our role / function to work when engaging with people living with mental health issues
  • a framework to guide how to recognise the signs of mental health issues as they appear in everyday life, without entering into the realm of diagnosis and labelling. Concepts such as coachability will be compared and contrasted with concepts such as dysfunction and pathology.
  • Interactive, activity-based discussions in which we explore implications for participants’ practice. How might we work in ways that (A). are within remit in terms of scope of practice and code of ethics?  (B). make significant contributions to improving mental health in the work place?  (C). act to constructively disrupt stigma, stuckness, and prejudice?

Who Should Attend

Teachers, after-school carers, school counsellors, heads of special needs programmes and centres, parent counsellors. For coaches, social workers, psychologists, family therapists, and counsellors this course will offer ways to go beyond the mental health language of diagnostic labels and treatment planning, into the world of everyday work and life, and the communities in which people with mental health issues attempt to live as best they can manage.


Participants who meet 80% class attendance will be awarded a Certificate of Accomplishment by the Academy of Human Development.


Fees S$

 Course Fee (Nett)



Subsidies/ Funding S$

Company-Sponsored Applicant:

VCF pre-approved funding at 30% per pax for Singaporeans/PR Social Service Organisation Staff (Ref No. PAS00001601, End date of approval: 16 Jul 2019)



Application and Enquiries

Dave Goh

6593 5284

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Course Schedule

Duration 14 hours
Dates TBA
Timing 9.30am - 5.30pm
Trainer(s) Dr Svea Van Der Hoorn
Venue(s) To Be Advised