1. The Interagency Taskforce on Mental Health and Well-Being will conduct a public consultation to seek views on its preliminary recommendations to enhance the mental health and well-being of Singaporeans. The public consultation will be held from 30 May to 7 August 2022 through two modes – an online consultation via REACH and small group engagements with key stakeholders. The feedback gathered will be incorporated into the development of the National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy.
2. We invite the public to share feedback on the Taskforce’s preliminary recommendations via go.gov.sg/mental-health from 30 May to 7 August 2022. In addition, over 30 small group engagements will be held with key stakeholders including youths, parents, persons with mental health conditions, service providers, employers and community agencies on the preliminary recommendations. Grassroots will also engage residents to gather feedback. These stakeholders will be contacted directly via their respective organisations to participate in the engagement sessions.
Preliminary recommendations from the Taskforce
3. In recognition of the multi-faceted nature of mental health and well-being, the Taskforce was set up in July 2021 to oversee and coordinate mental health and well-being efforts, focusing on cross-cutting issues that require interagency collaborations1.
4. The Taskforce has proposed 12 recommendations to address the gaps identified across three focus areas: 1) improve accessibility, coordination and quality of mental health services; 2) strengthen services and support for youth mental well-being; and 3) improve workplace well-being measures and employment support. Details of the preliminary recommendations can be found in the public consultation paper on REACH’s website at go.gov.sg/feedbackmentalhealth or Annex A.
Focus Area 1: Improve accessibility, coordination and quality of mental health services
5. The Ministry of Health, Agency for Integrated Care and the Institute of Mental Health have been working with healthcare institutions and community care providers to provide various mental health services to support persons with mental health conditions. To enable timely access to affordable and quality mental health services across the health and social settings, the Taskforce seeks the public’s feedback on four recommendations:
i. Implement a care model that provides a tiered system of services (ranging from peer support, general counselling, to more intensive psychological and psychiatric services), to cater to individuals with varying levels of mental health needs.
ii. Designate a few first-stop touchpoints to provide individuals with easy access to mental health support and advice.
iii. Standardise processes and systems to improve coordination between social and healthcare service providers.
iv. Ensure frontline workers, peer supporters, mental health para-professionals are equipped with the relevant mental health competencies, and knowledge of mental health conditions and community support services.
Focus Area 2: Strengthen services and support for youth mental well-being
6. While government agencies, schools and community partners have been building youth mental health services and promoting awareness of mental health issues over the years, there is room to improve mental health awareness among youths, and to provide easier access to mental health support and services for them. To strengthen services and support for youth, the Taskforce proposes three recommendations for the public’s feedback.
i. Leverage the care model for mental health and well-being services (see Focus Area 1 Recommendation (i)) to enhance accessibility and increase the range of quality mental health services for youth.
ii. Develop a parents’ toolbox to equip parents with youth mental health and cyber wellness knowledge and skills.
iii. Promote positive and healthy use of technology and social media.
Focus Area 3: Improve workplace well-being measures and employment support
7. All persons in recovery from mental health conditions should have the opportunity to live with dignity in a caring and inclusive society. Employment is an important aspect of recovery for persons with mental health conditions as it allows them another avenue to participate meaningfully in society. To strengthen workplace well-being measures and improve the employability of and employment support for persons with mental health conditions, the Taskforce proposes five recommendations for the public’s feedback.
i. Improve mental well-being support systems and work-life harmony strategies for employees in general (including persons with mental health conditions), by partnering employers to increase awareness on mental health resources, and enhance support networks and assistance.
ii. Standardise assessment and referral frameworks for all employment support agencies to provide customised employment support services.
iii. Improve access to training for persons with mental health conditions.
iv. Increase the number and variety of job opportunities available to persons with mental health conditions.
v. Equip employers, Human Resource practitioners, supervisors and colleagues with knowledge on supporting persons with mental health conditions and creating inclusive workplaces, through support services and resources such as helplines and consultancy clinics.
Invitation to provide feedback
8. Everyone has a part to play to improve and support mental health and well-being within our families, workplaces, and community, and to build an inclusive and caring society.
9. The feedback gathered will help the Taskforce sharpen its recommendations to inform the development of the National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy, which will provide overarching goals and strategies to guide and align the various agencies’ efforts.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
30 MAY 2022
 The Taskforce comprises members from over 30 government agencies, public and private sectors. It is coordinated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and supported by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, the Ministry of Manpower, and the National Council of Social Service.