Your guide to seeking free support for mental health in Singapore
We will soon be reaching the 2-year mark of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many things have changed in the past 2 years but where do we find ourselves now in the mental health scene?
In a recent study published by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), about 13% of 1,000+ participants reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the pandemic. However, this was met with a silver lining – about 81.1% were willing to seek professional help for COVID-19-related mental health issues. This is definitely a heartening sign that we’re making a step towards embracing mental health in Singapore and seeking the help many of us need.
Even before the pandemic, the mental health issues that for so long had been ignored or hidden, had begun to emerge and be discussed. With many people afraid to ask for help, or admit that they need it, the numbers of those who need some kind of support is likely far greater than general surveys would indicate.
So what infrastructure do we have in place to meet the rising demand for better support of mental health in Singapore?
Admittedly, the navigation of mental health resources in Singapore could be improved upon. With the fragmented number of online resources and channels available out there right now, it could be overwhelming for somebody seeking information on mental health support. So to help this, we have streamlined and compiled a convenient list of mental health resources and platforms.
Many of us could experience emotional distress from traumatic events in our day-to-day responsibilities. However, none of us should be afraid to to talk to someone, especially when it is free and anonymous. Feel free to reach out to professionals or trained volunteers who man the 24-hour helplines to get the emotional support you need to get you through your emotional struggles.
|Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)||1-767|
|Institute of Mental Health (IMH) Helpline||6389 2222|
Online Resources for mental health in Singapore
In the midst of a pandemic, with many desperate for a solution, there have been a number of digital mental health so has been on the rise. More people are reaching out to online mental health resources, ever more so now with the advent of telecommunication. Here are some useful online mental health resources, including things like self-care resources, chatbots and e-counselling services.
|Beyond the Label Helpbot, Belle (National Council of Social Service)||Chat with a helpbot to navigate through the various mental health resources and services. These include relevant services, helplines and even useful psychoeducational reads, depending on your needs.|
|Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) by IMH||CHAT not only aims to provide access to mental health resources, but also provide personalised mental health assessments for youths. With CHAT’s mental health check, as administered by professionals, you could seek clarity on the issues you’re struggling with and be recommended to the relevant services for support. All resources and more information are accessible via their website.|
|Mindline.sg||Mindline.sg was developed by the combined efforts of several governmental institutions, including NCSS, IMH and MS. It consolidates access to useful mental health material and resources which largely emphasise evidence-based coping skills and stress management techniques. Finally, if you prefer interactions with chatbots, they have one that can direct you to the appropriate channels of support depending on your needs.|
|Changi General Hospital – Resources||CGH has compiled a list of self-help resources that one could peruse in their own time and space. These include activities and strategies for stress management and emotional regulation.|
Financial barriers can be massive in getting professional support. But is worthwhile to know that there are many affordable and even free counselling services for times of emotional need. You need not splurge hundreds just to seek mental health support – a right that everyone should have. Here is a list of services that provide free-of-charge counselling.
|Silver Ribbon Singapore||Silver Ribbon Singapore organises mental health events regularly and collaborates with local and overseas mental health organisations, as well as schools and governmental stakeholders to reach out to the community of all age groups. They provide free basic counselling services. They are open for appointments on weekdays, from 9am – 5pm. |
Mental wellness talks/workshops ,
Mental health events,
Crisis resolution team.
|eC2 by Fei Yue Community Services||An e-counselling centre that offers free-of-charge services for individuals who are hesitant in seeking face-to-face therapy. You may freely share your concerns with trained counsellors with the Quick Chat function, but that’s only available on weekdays from 10am-12pm and 2pm-5pm. You could also make an appointment once you have been assigned a fixed counsellor. |
Chatrooms with counsellors.
|Singapore Association of Mental Health (SAMH)||SAMH provides donation-based counselling sessions which are open for appointment on weekdays from 9am-6pm. These sessions typically last from 45 minutes to an hour and can cover management of daily life stressors or coping with mental illness. |
Family psychoeducation programme,
Psychosocial activities .
Getting coverage from your Insurance for mental health in Singapore
Therapy can be expensive. Here in Singapore, there is an option to use your Medisave for psychiatric treatment at governmental hospitals. So if money is a barrier to getting help, check that out.
These are some of the easily accessible spaces to talk to someone, but sometimes you may feel like you want to join a community. If so, you can join our Discord server. It is a friendly group of people ready to welcome you and help you feel better.
If you are looking for an app to learn more about mental health, the relationship between your habits and how you are affected by them, check out our app, we put a lot of thought into it and the science behind it. We hope you find it useful.
Our mental health app, Bravely, also has a direct link to some of the most important Singapore hotline numbers for mental health support.