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The number of cases diagnosed with selective mutism

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Hany Soh
MP for Marsling-Yew Tee GRC

Question No. 772

To ask the Minister of Health (a) what is the number of Singaporeans who suffer from selective mutism and the breakdown in terms of age group; and (b) what are the support systems available for these patients and their caregivers.

Written Answer

From 2018 to 2020, an average of 140 patients per year with selective mutism were seen at the public hospitals.  Children aged 7 to 12 years old formed the largest group (48%), followed by children below 7 years old (31%), 13 to 16 years old (16%) and above 17 years old  (5%).

A multi-disciplinary team, comprising psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists and clinical counselors, provides assessment and interventions for children with selective mutism by working closely with parents.  The interventions include psychotherapies, pharmacological treatment, counselling and education, tailored according to the age of the child and clinical progress of the condition.

For school going children, the Response, Early Intervention, Assessment in Community Mental Health (REACH) teams works with schools on special accommodations for oral examinations and learning.  KKH also provides a hospital-based support programme for parents, which focuses on behavioural adjustments of parents in response to their children.  Community based support groups are also available on social media platforms.

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