NOTICE PAPER NO. 1033
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 8 MARCH 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Yip Hon Weng
MP for Yio Chu Kang SMC
Question No. 2637
To ask the Minister for Health in light of the impact that social isolation has had on the mental health of seniors in the past two years; (a) how many seniors have required mental health intervention; (b) of which, how many of these cases are detected through community efforts and social service agencies (SSA); and (c) what are the efforts by the Ministry and the SSAs to conduct mental health screening for seniors.
Currently, the Ministry of Health does not track the breakdown of those seeking mental health intervention by age bands for adults. However, surveys such as the National Population Health Survey have shown that the proportion of seniors aged 60-74 years with poor mental health was 11.4% in 2017 and 9.4% in 2020. The second Well-being of Singapore Elderly study is under way and we will continue to track and better meet the mental health needs of our seniors.
As there is inconclusive evidence on benefits of mass mental health screening, efforts are focused instead on increasing mental health literacy and awareness, as well as identifying and providing support to persons at risk or suspected to have mental health conditions in the community. In the past two years, the community outreach teams have reached out and provided information and/or assistance to more than 128,000 people.
To complement the above, our Eldercare Centres (ECs) work with the Silver Generation Office (SGO) to proactively reach out to vulnerable seniors who have no or limited social support. Seniors identified to require care and support are referred to the appropriate care services, such as befriending and mental health services.
MOH will continue to work closely with our partners to develop community resources and build their capabilities to better support the mental health and well-being of the population.