Singapore to Provide Mental Health Services Under New National Strategy

Nov 2023

A joint press release by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in October 2023 announced the launch of a national mental health and well-being strategy. This strategy sees the implementation of a new tiered care model for mental health support, first introduced in October 2022, which aims to organize mental health services according to the severity of needs, across health, social and educational settings, and will see individuals being able to receive help from more hospitals, polyclinics and general practitioners (GPs).

To ensure adequate care, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) will enhance its inpatient psychiatric bed and rehabilitation capacity, while the redeveloped Alexandra Hospital will also offer expanded psychiatric services. Two new psychiatric nursing homes and a psychiatric rehabilitation home are expected to be developed by 2030 to increase long-term care facilities, and all new polyclinics are expected to also provide mental health services. More general practitioners (GPs), in addition to over 400 currently, will also be trained to provide mental health services like assessment and medical treatment. Three other areas will also be focused on as part of the mental health strategy, namely: enhancing capabilities of service providers for early identification and intervention, promoting mental health and well-being, as well as improving workplace mental health and well-being.

To develop these areas, the IMH is currently piloting a crisis response team to support police officers in managing suicidal cases by conducting rapid assessments and giving prompt support. Legislation is also expected to be introduced prohibiting workplace discrimination, including discrimination based on mental health conditions. Steps to normalize conversations around mental health and well-being and the improvement of mental health literacy will also be taken, such as building mental and socio-emotional resilience in preschoolers, and providing more tailored support for counsellors and educators in special education schools

(Source: CNA)

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