25th Feb 2021
Ms Raeesah Khan
MP for Sengkang GRC
Question No. 497
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the prevalence of paternal postnatal depression (PPND) in Singapore; (b) what are the current efforts to identify and diagnose PPND; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider implementing policies to raise awareness about PPND and provide greater support to individuals at-risk of, or diagnosed with, PPND.
Local studies1 have estimated the prevalence of paternal postnatal depression (PPND) to be 1.8% at 6 weeks after the birth of the child. The Ministry of Health (MOH) does not routinely track PPND prevalence.
Currently, hospitals may assess the spouse as part of the mother’s consultation during clinic appointments, especially when risk factors such as maternal postnatal depression are present. This would involve monitoring for signs of distress, tiredness or being generally emotional, or checking with the mother if her partner is coping well. Where PPND is detected, the affected father is offered the appropriate management, including referral to polyclinics or other mental health professionals.
Within the community, initiatives such as KidSTART, led by the Early Childhood Development Agency, actively screens for paternal depression during home visits and directs appropriate individuals to polyclinics for further assessment.
MOH will continue to monitor and respond to the mental health needs of the population. Source: Chee C.Y., Chong Y.S., Lee D.T. et. al. Perinatal depressive disorders in Singaporean women and their partners. Ann Acad Med Singap. 2004 Sep;33(5 Suppl):S38-9.