A report from the Straits Times reveals that the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore has initiated another mental health survey. The survey launched in October of 2016 aims to collect information about a broad spectrum of mental disorders. It will also draw connections between mental health in Singapore and the economic costs of dealing with these disorders.

The Positive Mental Health Instrument

The survey is possible in part because of the development of the Positive Mental Health instrument, a multi-dimensional tool for measuring a person’s mental health and well-being. The instrument was designed by the Singapore Institute of Mental Health and can be used for people of various ethnicities, genders, and age groups. When it was first announced in 2012, the Positive Mental Health instrument was groundbreaking, as it was one of the first validated scales of its kind to be created in Asia.

The New 2016-2017 Survey

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) will speak with more than 6,000 individuals, chosen from a larger group of 15,500 people. The chosen 6,000-plus participants are all over 18.
Every interview takes place in the individual’s home. The person is paid $60 and is asked various questions about his or her personal life and mental health. All responses are kept confidential, but the information and demographics are collected for the survey so that researchers can conduct an effective analysis.

Results Anticipated in 2018

According to reports, the study is part of a larger project, which will span three years and cost $4.9 million. The project is being funded by the Singapore Millennium Foundation and the Ministry of Health. While other parts of the project are ongoing, the survey itself will be complete by the end of 2017, with results expected around August of 2018.

Comparisons with Previous Surveys

A previous survey of similar scope was conducted in Singapore in 2010. Researchers plan to compare the new and old surveys, calculating the prevalence of specific mental health issues and reviewing any changes in trends over the past several years.

Like the first survey, the new initiative explores common disorders such as depression, alcohol abuse, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, the new one also encompasses psychiatric issues like hoarding, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia.

Future Surveys Are Likely

As Singapore’s population continues to grow, the Ministry of Health and the IMH recognise the need to conduct these surveys every so often. “With the continuous growth of our population, there is a need to review the state of the population’s mental health,” explained Professor Chong Siow Ann, Vice-Chairman of the medical board of research at the IMH. “It will also give us a good sense of how the mental health landscape has changed in the years since that first study.”

For those with failing mental health in Singapore, the aid of a professional Singapore psychiatrist remains the first line of defence. Contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic if you have concerns about your own mental well-being or that of a child or senior in your care. Our offices are comfortable and secure, and our care team maintains your privacy while offering effective modern treatments for a number of mental health disorders.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 13 October, 2016