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Psychotic Disorder Amongst Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Dr Wan Rizal
MP for Jalan Besar GRC

Question No. 1179

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current number of Singaporeans and permanent residents with psychotic disorders; (b) what is the breakdown according to occupations; and (c) what are the plans to protect them from being attacked or harassed on social media in our effort to end public stigmatisation.

Written Answer

Based on data from the Singapore Mental Health Study 2016, the lifetime prevalence of psychotic disorders in Singapore is estimated to be 2.3%[1].  However, IMH did not collect data on specific occupations of those who had psychotic disorders. 

There is a need to increase mental health literacy and awareness.  This will also help reduce the stigma of  mental health conditions. Since 2018, the National Council of Social Service has been driving the Beyond the Label campaign.  The Health Promotion Board is also developing a one-stop portal on mental health resources to provide curated and accurate information on mental health conditions. 

Under the Ministry of Education’s refreshed Character and Citizenship Education curriculum, students are taught the importance of respect and empathy for others, how to protect themselves against cyberbullying, to help look out for their peers, and to speak up against and report bullying to school authorities. 

The Institutes of Higher Learning have also strengthened their cyber wellness curricula to enhance the teaching of digital well-being and online ethics. The Media Literacy Council has also been educating the public on cyber wellness and the avenues available for help when facing online harassment. 

The Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) can be used to protect  individuals with mental health conditions from being attacked or harassed on social media. Harassers may be charged under the Act, and victims may also obtain a Protection Order under POHA to restrain persons from publishing harassing communications about them. 

[1] Mythily Subramaniam et al. Lifetime Prevalence and Correlates of Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders in Singapore. Frontiers in Psychiatry. March 2021 | Volume 12 | Article 650674

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