The Straits Times reports that polyclinics are now handling a variety of mental health cases in Singapore. The availability of these locations encourages people to seek treatment, without the stigma that might be associated with visiting the Institute of Mental Health.

Polyclinics Become Popular

One man, aged 63, suffers from depression. He visits the Queenstown Polyclinic for his treatment now. Ng Guat Hua, a housewife whose anxiety disorder often affects her everyday life, also goes to a polyclinic instead of the hospital she used to visit.

The psychiatric services at the polyclinics are supervised by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). They provide a more immediate and accessible form of mental health care than the hospitals do, so many patients feel more comfortable going to one of the polyclinics.

Privacy and the Polyclinics

Since the polyclinics treat a variety of health issues, no one knows exactly why someone is visiting; and this protects people who prefer a certain level of privacy and anonymity when it comes to their mental health. They do not have to feel stigmatised because they are seeking mental health care. Dr. Wei Ker-Chiah, chief of the IMH community psychiatry department, explains, “There is less stigma attached to seeing a doctor at a polyclinic. Patients benefit from the management of co-morbidities of medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.”

Planned Expansion for Polyclinics

The first polyclinic to provide mental health services was Geylang Polyclinic. Five years later, the Queenstown Polyclinic opened its mental health clinic in 2008. Along with additional mental health services, five clinics began offering dementia care as well. In 2016, Jurong polyclinic became the latest to open a mental health care center, called the Health and Mind Service.

According to the Straits Times, additional mental health clinics are planned for other polyclinics throughout Singapore. Right now, 18 polyclinics exist, and only 7 of them offer mental health services. By 2021, the government intends to place dementia clinics, mental health clinics, or both in 50 percent of the polyclinics in Singapore. It’s an intentional plan, aimed at bolstering the effectiveness of community mental health care.

Polyclinic Mental Health Teams

Each mental health within the polyclinics includes a team of Singapore psychologists, family doctors, medical social workers, and nurses, according to the Ministry of Health. Sometimes a hospital specialist or psychiatrist is also present to provide guidance and handle tougher cases. Patients with serious mental illness still have to visit a psychiatric hospital department, IMH, or a local psychiatric clinic.

Other Mental Health Treatment Options in Singapore

Having mental health care readily available to everyone in Singapore is a necessary and wonderful thing. However, not all the polyclinics are able to provide the calm, welcoming atmosphere that you’ll find at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. You can visit our convenient location to find the privacy and personal attention you need for your mental health condition. Call us today to set up an appointment with an experienced psychiatrist in Singapore who can help you recover your mental balance and get your life back.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 2 May 2017