recently reported a dramatic increase in the number of teens who called suicide hotlines to request help with their mental health in Singapore. In just two years, workers have reported double the number of young people taking action and calling for assistance. Explore various aspects of this hot-button issue regarding mental health in Singapore.

Cries for Help

According to SOS, a suicide hotline in Singapore, there has been a spike in the number of calls from young people. In 2014, there were 1,767 calls from individuals ages 10-19. Of those 1,767, 244 of the young people requested help with their mental health problems. In 2015, 2,680 calls came in from desperate young people ages 10-19. Of those calls, 550 children and teens begged for help with mental health issues like depression and mood swings.

Self-Diagnosis and Awareness of Mental Health Problems

Teens are reportedly becoming more aware of their feelings and the underlying reasons behind them. Dr. Ken Ung, a psychiatrist in Singapore, reports, “I have younger patients coming to me and saying: ‘I think I have borderline personality disorder’ or ‘I think I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)’.” Their self-diagnosis could be a sign of improved awareness regarding teen mental health in Singapore. However, if the young people simply call a hotline and don’t seek other professional help, their problems might become worse. A child or teen who expresses concern about his or her own mental health should be urged to visit a doctor or a psychiatrist for further evaluation.

More Mental Health Issues Among Young People

The increase in possible cases of depression, anxiety, ADHD, personality disorder, bipolar disorders, and other issues among children and teens highlights the need for better tracking of mental health within these age groups. Currently, the most prominent studies of mental health in Singapore only tracks individuals older than 18. According to Dr. Ung, the number of teens and kids suffering from mental and emotional issues is rising, which means that more data is needed to effectively deal with the risk factors and the treatment needs.

Parents in Denial

According to Mr. Daniel Koh, a psychologist in Singapore, some parents flatly refused to acknowledge their child’s emotional or mental distress. He has heard parents say, “My child can rest when he finishes college.” Others minimize the issue because they are fearful of the social stigma that is still associated with mental illness in Singapore.
Instead of pushing aside the evidence and ignoring their child’s struggles, parents need to be supportive. Encouragement and unconditional love can go a long way towards calming a child’s fear and anxiety and renewing hope.

Facing the Truth

If you know deep in your heart that your child is struggling emotionally or mentally, don’t ignore your parental intuition. Seek help for your child or teen at the Adelphi Psych Medicine Center. Our highly trained counsellors and psychiatrists can help your loved one find renewed hope and passion for life. If you need help re-connecting with your child, ask about counselling for yourself as well. Rebuilding your relationship with your child or teen is an important step towards better mental health.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, November 2, 2016