singapore Facility for young people, more doctors: Singapore launches national mental health and well-being strategy

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More primary and community mental health services will be developed to meet the increasing needs of Singapore's population, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) on Thursday (Oct 5). 

In a joint press release, the two ministries announced the launch of Singapore's National Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy, which aims to create an effective ecosystem to help those with mental health needs seek help without stigma and support them in their recovery.

One of the four focus areas of this strategy is the expanding the capacity of mental health services in the country.

This will be done by extending the provision of mental health services to all new polyclinics by 2030. Presently, 17 out of 24 existing polyclinics provide mental health services. 

More General Practitioners (GPs) will also be trained to provide mental health services. These GPs will be onboarded through the Mental Health General Practitioner Partnership (MHGPP), and will be augmented by community mental health teams to provide counselling and psychological services.

There are currently over 400 GPs who are trained to manage mental health cases and work closely with the Community Intervention Teams and hospitals to meet their patients' mental health needs. 

The strategy will also see the set up of two new psychiatric nursing homes and a psychiatric rehabilitation home by 2030. 

Besides expanding primary care capacity, MOH also intends to develop other first-stop touchpoints such as a national mental health helpline and text service. 

The other focus areas of the strategy are:

  • Enhancing capabilities of service providers for the early identification and intervention 
  • Promoting mental health and well-being 
  • Improving workplace mental health and well-being 

Four-tier care model  

Under the strategy, mental health support will now be organised into four tiers under the Tier Care Model, to cater to the severity of individuals' mental health needs. 

This is to "deal with the entire spectrum of mental health and well-being," said Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Janil Puthucheary, who also chairs the inter-agency taskforce on Mental Health and...

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