Little things mean a lot

  • Community
  • Saturday, 25 Aug 2012

SIMPLE compliments such as ‘good job’ and ‘well done’ when conveyed to a subordinate for successfully completing a task can help remove a great amount of stress from the person’s mind.

The person will instantly feel appreciated and encouraged, knowing that his or her efforts have been recognised.

This was the view of Penang Association of Counselling and Psychology (PACP) president A.E. Margarita Malayapillay.

She also said bosses need not always think of monetary rewards per se to show they appreciate their workers or colleagues.

She said a simple ‘thank you’ could mean the world to their subordinates.

These words of appreciation are important to help boost a person’s self-esteem.

“The same principle can be applied between headmasters and their teachers; teachers and other teachers as well as between teachers and their students.

“Rather than merely pointing out their mistakes, those in superior positions should focus on the positive achievements of their subordinates,” Margarita said after delivering a talk on ‘Stress Management for Teachers’ at the inaugural Mental Health Awareness in Schools seminar at SJK (C ) Jit Sin ‘B’ in Berapit, Bukit Mertajam.

The half-day event was jointly organised by D’Home Mental Health Association and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association.

Margarita also said schools should provide rooms for teachers to have some quiet time in between classes to de-stress.

She said teachers could use the rooms to meditate and take a breather from their hectic schedules.

“The rooms, where silence should be observed at all times, need not necessarily be used for any particular religion.

“It should serve as a common place for teachers to unwind and relax,” she added.

In her talk earlier, Margarita said the best way to change a person was for others to change their way of dealing with the person.

She said people usually coped with stress differently based on age, awareness, skills, practice, support, self-esteem and attitude.

Penang Hospital senior consultant psychiatrist Dr Lai Fong Hwa said it was important for teachers and parents to open an ‘emotional bank account’ for their children’s future.

“Everytime we say something positive to our children, we are putting money into their emotional bank account.

“But everytime we scold them or say something negative, we are actually withdrawing money from their account,” he said in his talk titled ‘Detection and Early Intervention of Mental Illness in Children’.

Dr Lai said if a child had very little ‘money’ in his ‘emotional bank account’, it might be difficult for him to face life’s challenges.

“That is why sometimes we have young people ending their lives because they have nothing to ‘withdraw’ from the account,” he said.

D’Home Mental Health Associa-tion committee member-cum-mental health advocate Irene Chong said parents must spend quality time interacting with their children.

She said they should initiate joint activities like outings.

She also said D’Home recently started a Schools-Colleges Outreach Programme (Scope) to conduct workshops and seminars for teachers, students and parents to address their mental health needs.

For further information, contact the association at 11A-6-5, NB Place in Gottlieb Road, Penang, or call 04-2278082 or visit its website at

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