NOTICE PAPER NO. 1092
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 5 APRIL 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Christopher de Souza
MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC
Question No. 1685
To ask the Minister for Health whether there are plans for the development of practical community mental health programmes, based on studies and research from previous national outbreaks of infectious disease such as SARS, to help individuals, particularly children, in coping with the psychological and psychosocial responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
A study by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) on Singapore population’s psychological responses and mental well-being found that about 13% of the respondents reported symptoms of depression or anxiety in the period from May 2020 to June 2021. Programmes were available to help provide Singaporeans with psychological support during this period, and continue to be available.
The National CARE Hotline (NCH) provides emotional and psychological first aid to those who are affected. HPB provides a national mental health resources portal on HealthHub to provide Singaporeans with credible, reliable and convenient access to mental health information.
Specific programmes to help children and their families cope with the COVID-19 pandemic are also available. For example, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) offers evidence-based parenting programmes, such as the Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P) and Signposts, to equip parents with skills and strategies to build strong, healthy relationships with their child (aged up to 16 years), and confidently manage their child’s behaviour.
Measures to support students’ mental health are provided in the schools by the Ministry of Education (MOE). This includes Mental Health Education lessons taught within the refreshed Character and Citizenship Education curriculum. Teachers also conduct regular check-ins to closely monitor and support students’ mental well-being.
The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) has also been working with community partners to set up community mental health teams to outreach and offer a range of mental health support services for individuals, including youth, at risk of or suspected to have mental health conditions.