Understanding Schizophrenia in Singapore

Posted on June 2, 2014

Dr Ang Yong Guan is a well-known mental health advocate and psychiatrist in Singapore, and was the longest-serving psychiatrist with the Singapore Armed Forces for almost 17 years.

He knows the statistics in Singapore signal a crisis: one in six Singaporeans suffers from some form of mental illnesses, 3 per cent of Singapore's population has clinical depression and 45,000 people have schizophrenia.

Yet, as each of his patients recovers, the psychiatrist feels that his dream that mental illness be spoken about openly is being realised.

Ang believes that to begin a conversation about mental illness, Singaporeans need to talk about weaknesses in the open.

"Why are we so uncomfortable talking about negative things? In 2011, a girl named Krystal killed herself because she could not get into one of the top three local universities. It is about living up to everyone’s expectations. But what is wrong with going to uniSIM, for example?" he asks.

He believes a major problem lies with the city-state's heavy emphasis on success, and a reluctance to deal with failures.


Source material from The Independent