Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Raeesah Khan
MP for Sengkang GRC
Question No. 501
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the status of the Government’s review on mental health strategy; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider (i) greater decentralisation of mental healthcare to improve accessibility and (ii) offering semi-inpatient services to allow for greater patient autonomy.
The Government’s review of the mental health strategy is currently in progress and more details will be announced at a later date.
To support persons with mental health conditions and improve accessibility to mental health services, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) have been working with the public healthcare institutions and community partners to strengthen mental health services within the primary care and community settings. Mental health and/or dementia services have been set up in 14 polyclinics, and over 220 general practitioner (GP) partners have been trained to identify, diagnose and care for persons with mental health conditions. In the community, 48 community outreach teams have been set up as of June 2020, to reach out to persons who have or are at risk of dementia or depression. In addition, 21 community intervention teams have also been set up as of June 2020 to support GP partners and community partners in managing clients with mild to moderate mental health conditions.
Persons with stable mental health conditions who do not require acute inpatient care can tap on a range of psychiatric intermediate care services for residential or day care support. These include psychiatric rehabilitation homes and psychiatric sheltered homes for persons who require short term accommodation, and psychiatric day centres which provide day care and ongoing living skills training for those living in the community with caregivers.
In addition, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) operates day facilities such as the Mood Disorders Unit (MDU) day hospital, where patients with stable conditions attend customised day programmes with group therapy and support group sessions. IMH also provides day programmes at its Occupational Therapy, Activities, Vocation, and Empowerment (OcTAVE) Centre, which offers a range of outpatient rehabilitation programmes.
MOH will continue to improve access to mental health care services and facilitate the recovery of patients in the community.