Mental health initiative seeks to reach beyond stigma

Posted on August 27, 2014

SINGAPORE - Anxiety, insomnia and helplessness - Pauline (not her real name) recognised these could be symptoms of mild depression while taking a mental health survey at a community event nearly one-and-a-half years ago.

Worried that her friends would probe, the 65-year-old quietly filled in a form with her contact details so that experts could reach her to tell her more about these symptoms. It eventually led to regular counselling sessions with a social worker.

People such as Pauline - who avoid seeking help for their mental health conditions because of stigma - are the ones the community mental health and dementia support network led by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) hopes to reach out to.

First introduced in 2012, the pilot initiative has benefited more than 4,500 people, with its outreach programmes reaching out to more than 21,000 to date.

Medical care and treatment are provided to clients with mild to moderate mental health conditions at the last level - the Assessment and Shared Care Team - which consists of multidisciplinary care teams led by doctors.

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Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Today Online

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