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1. Good afternoon to all of you. Thank you so much for the kind invitation and honour to join you on the launch of The Safe Space Foundation.

Importance of Mental Health 

2. Mental health as an issue is really something that has gained a lot of dominance in conversations lately. I did not realise, before I joined the Ministry of Health (MOH), that this is a matter that MOH had been looking at since a long time ago. We already had the national mental health blueprint in 2007. This was at a time when it was not so well-known or understood. There was difficulty getting the community to embrace it. Fast forward to a few years later, we are seeing a lot of awareness. But also some gaps that we need to fill and there has been a lot of momentum on this. We celebrated World Mental Health Day on 10 October. This time round, there was a lot more people echoing this very important right. The World Health Organization mental health a universal right.

Taking a Whole-of-Society Approach on Mental Health

3. I think it is also important for us to also appreciate how we have grown this space, how we can embrace different partners in this journey. I am so happy to see many familiar faces, which means that this is an effort that is echoed and supported by many. This is why the Ministry and a few other agencies has also embarked on looking at this as an inter-agency effort, and has also presented the National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy to build up our efforts in this space. We are expanding our capacity in mental health services, enhancing capabilities of service providers and also promoting awareness of mental well-being, especially in workplaces. 

4. We had informed everyone about the Tiered Care Model, which then provides the right-siting of services. We had been rolling out the mental well-being circles in our community. Hopefully with all these, and also having ambassadors in the workplaces, we will create an environment where there are touchpoints and services for everyone. 

5. That is why it is with such great happiness that I welcome The Safe Space Foundation with open arms in this whole ecosystem, because we could definitely do more when we have people who are vested in building this space better. 

6. I was also heartened to hear that this was borne by the beneficiaries of The Safe Space programme, who felt so nudged and empowered to give something back and help people along this journey. I think this bodes well for Singapore, when people who benefitted from the services feel the need to give back and make it even better. I think we have a very good chance to build and leave a good legacy.


7. I hope today as we come together to celebrate this, we also continue to think how we as individuals and as different people can really do our part. Everyone of us and stakeholders, we walk this journey together. Nobody is alone when they are facing the toughest of times. Through the National Population Health Survey 2022, we also see that young people suffer quite a fair bit over mental health. We also see women having poorer mental health than men. 

8. Congratulations to the team at The Safe Space Foundation. We look forward to many good years to come, to a growth in this space and in this community. Thank you.

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