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  • Writer's pictureIbthisam

Do We Know: About Singapore's Mental Health Situation?

Mental health is an essential aspect of an individual's overall wellbeing. However, in Singapore, the prevalence of mental health disorders is on the rise, and the country faces a severe shortage of mental health service providers. This lack of resources has resulted in a high cost to individuals, families, and society.

Singapore has one of the highest rates of mental illness in Asia, with one in seven people suffering from a mental disorder in their lifetime. The most common mental health disorders in Singapore include depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


However, despite the high prevalence of mental illness, there is a significant lack of mental health service providers in Singapore. According to a study conducted by the Institute of Mental Health, the country has only 1.9 psychiatrists per 100,000 people, which is much lower than the recommended ratio of 10 psychiatrists per 100,000 people by the World Health Organization.


The lack of mental health service providers in Singapore has resulted in long waiting times for appointments and limited access to care. This has led to a significant cost to individuals and their families. The lack of timely intervention and treatment can result in a decline in an individual's mental health, leading to severe consequences such as loss of employment, strained relationships, and even suicide.


The cost of mental illness in Singapore is not only limited to individuals and their families but also has a significant impact on society. Mental illness can lead to a decline in productivity, increase in healthcare costs, and a strain on social services. The cost of untreated mental illness in Singapore is estimated to be around $1.7 billion per year.


To address the issue of mental health in Singapore, the government has launched several initiatives such as the National Mental Health Blueprint and the Mental Health Taskforce. These initiatives aim to increase awareness of mental health issues, provide access to mental health services, and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. However, the interventions that exist today is not sufficient to see changes in society expedite. There is also a cultural stigma that prevents us from taping on to mental health services and support groups. To get positive changes we as a member of community need to come together to create awareness and involve in programs and focus groups to develop better services for the whole society.


Therefore, mental health is an essential aspect of an individual's overall wellbeing, and Singapore faces a severe shortage of mental health service providers. The lack of resources has resulted in a high cost to individuals, families, and society. The government and other stakeholders must work together to address the issue of mental health in Singapore, increase access to mental health services, and reduce the cost of untreated mental illness.


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