Singapore is making some serious progress towards increasing awareness about mental health problems and also providing comprehensive treatment options for people dealing with such issues.

We have already discussed the state of mental wellness in Singapore. Statistics suggest that nearly 14 percent of Singapore residents have experienced some kind of mental health problem – a percentage that’s much higher than many people believe it to be.

Several announcements were made in the beginning of 2019, showing a shift towards a better dialogue about mental health problems. The scope of such issues is finally being recognised and steps are made to ensure the right kind of societal attitude towards problems like anxiety, depression and addiction.

First Insurance Policy Covering Mental Health Treatments

On January 25, 2019, an announcement was made about the launch of the first Singaporean health insurance policy featuring mental health coverage.

Insurance group AIA released a product called Beyond Critical Care. The insurance policy offers coverage for the treatment of five conditions – depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, Tourette Syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Once a policyholder is properly diagnosed by a psychiatrist in Singapore, the mental health benefits from the policy will be paid out to enable a treatment.  According to the company’s official announcement, the aim of the new product is to start a conversation and to reduce the stigma connected to mental health problems in Singapore.

According to the official announcement, the need for such products is high. One in seven people in Singapore has experienced an anxiety, mood or addiction disorder in their lifetime. In addition, OCD is pointed out as one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health problems in Singapore. Unfortunately, awareness about the nature of the condition is gravely lacking.

Approximately 75 percent of people who experience a mental health problem in their lifetime do not seek assistance from a qualified mental health clinic professional, either a psychiatrist, psychologist, or both. Hopefully, the creation of special insurances and treatment packages will initiate a gradual change.

Mental Health Film Fest in Singapore

The other announcements focus on events and activities aimed at increasing awareness.

Singapore will host its own mental health film festival between February 21 and 24, 2019. Once again, the aim of the event is to break the stigma and to get more people talking about their struggles and attempts to overcome mental health problems.

The festival will feature 11 films and eight discussion panels. Workshops will also be held to provide information about techniques people could use to control stress and anxiety – meditation, mindfulness, art therapy, yoga, etc.

This is the inaugural edition of the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival. The focus in 2019 will be dementia and youth mental wellness.

The film program consists of diversified entries. The opening film is Still Letting Go – a short film about a teen suffering from a debilitating mental health condition. The film shows the family’s struggle and the teenager’s relationship with his mother, who is ready to risk all in order to help her child.

More information about tickets is available on the festival’s official website. There are several different participation packages to choose among, depending on the number of events that you’d like to attend during the festival days.

Off Centre Play Returns

The final positive development worth discussing is the return of Off Centre to the stage.

The play debuted in 1993 and it presented the stories of two leads, both of them attempting to overcome mental illness. What’s most exciting is that the original lead actors will be returning to the brand new production.

Off Centre follows the lives of Vinod – an individual struggling with depression and Saloma – a schizophrenic.

Shows will occur between February 7 and 17 at the Victoria Theatre.

According to Off Centre playwright Haresh Sharma and director Alvin Tan, the issues that Off Centre presented with its debut are still valid and common in Singaporean society today. While people dealing with problems like depression and schizophrenia have more support today in the form of various Singapore therapy options, the stigma attached to such conditions is still present.

In 1993, the Off Centre production was minimal, an official statement from the team reads. In addition, the play lost a grant of 30,000 dollars from the Ministry of Health because the script was deemed unacceptable. Now, things have changed for the better. Off Centre will feature more mass scenes that are better executed due to the available budget.

Regardless of past hurdles, the Off Centre reception by the audience was overwhelmingly positive. The play was seen as mature and sensitive in the manner in which it addressed mental health problems,

If you’re interested in the brand new Off Centre production, you can get your tickets for the play here.

The power of art is immense when it comes to discussing uncomfortable issues and shedding light on social taboos and stigmatised individuals. The fact that creators are starting to speak about mental health problems will eventually contribute to their normalisation. When society starts seeing a medical problem as normal and common, those affected by the issue can get assistance in a much more adequate way.

If you’re struggling with a mental health problem or you believe that a loved one is combatting such an issue, you may want to start exploring the treatment options in Singapore. Luckily, there are numerous treatment centres to choose among and Adelphi is one of them.

Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic’s team consists of experienced and compassionate psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists. These professionals have developed a specialised range of services and treatments for young people and adults. The treatment approach is holistic and comprehensive, aimed to identify the root cause of the problem and address it in the most adequate way.

We offer a range of treatments like play therapy for children, art therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, clinical hypnosis, clinical psychiatry and others. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment or inquire about the types of assistance we’re capable of providing.

Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic is located at 1 Coleman Street, The Adelphi #04-32, Singapore 179803. Call us at 62509833.

Article by Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic