Taking mental health into your own hands, Singapore news and featured stories

Taking mental health into your own hands, Singapore news and featured stories

Founded in February last year, the Youth Mental Health Network brings together people from all walks of life to develop essential solutions to improve the mental health of young people. Nearly 1,500 people, including young people, parents, caregivers, mental health professionals and the social sector, have joined the network and developed 22 central projects.

Lobbying parents and schools to strengthen a supportive mental health ecosystem for young people

When Mr. Jagatheshwaran Raju was in university, his mother was diagnosed with diabetes, which became severe and necessitated the amputation of both of his legs.

She became depressed and Mr. Gaga, as one of the family members looking after her, began to feel nervous as well.

His extended family came to his rescue with strong support, and he was also received by other community leaders.

This experience led Gaga, 34, to realize the importance of the different levels of support one needs when going through tough times: support from family and community, as well as individual resilience.

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Set up safe, non-judgmental ‘listening corners’ with S’pore

Mrs. Elle Cheng’s dream is to one day have “listening places” all over the island, where people can listen to each other in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

Ms. Cheng, 35, the diversity and inclusion leader at a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, is taking small steps to make it happen.

Founder of the We Are Hear (WAH) project, the initiative began in March last year, when things were uncertain with the Covid-19 pandemic on the horizon.

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The project is one of 22 projects of the Youth Mental Health Network.

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Help parents discuss difficult topics with children

Help is available to guide parents through those difficult and sensitive conversations, such as bad grades, that will inevitably come with 7- to 12-year-olds.

Bramble, a mobile app started by four Singaporeans, plays the role of a therapist and moderator to keep discussions loving and fruitful with the help of machine learning.

Parents and children flip the phone back and forth as they take turns speaking, as the app suggests phrases and prompts responses as they talk about things like stress, expectations, and managing emotions.

The session in the application takes about 20 minutes. During the conversation, the app instructs parents and children to outline their ideas and get to know each other, then come up with a simple plan, such as committing to something small to facilitate a future task.

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Reducing time on digital devices, strengthening family bonds, which is important for supporting children during a pandemic: Chan Chun Sing

Education Minister Chan Chun Seng said building a strong family network where issues can be shared openly with parents is one way to help children move through the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a virtual panel discussion on children’s mental health, she added that a culture of constant comparison with their peers online and a lack of extended family support can affect them.

Therefore, it is essential to encourage children to practice wellness online by restricting their access to digital devices.

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“I think we need to have a conversation with our children, to allow them ‘organised access’ to such devices so that they don’t continue to be afraid of missing something whether their friends are talking on different apps or exchanging information or exchanging photos.” Mr. Chan said.

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Digital transformation to help Singapore’s youth deal with mental health issues

Here, agencies have turned to online channels to engage young people on mental health issues, reporting that they prefer anonymity or are concerned about the stigma associated with seeking help.

The Executive Director of the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), Tan, said that as of June this year, more than 12,000 young men and women have participated since the launch of the first youth community outreach team in April last year, through various media. including online platforms Instagram and TikTok. Kwang Chek.

There are now four teams led by Fei Yue Community Services, Care Corner, Limitless and Shine Children and Youth Services.

Tan said the Department of Health and the AIC are working with community partners to form the teams, which aim to be an essential community safety net for young people with or at risk of mental health issues, and their caregivers who need more care support. for your loved ones.

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