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How to Get Support for Your Mental Health in Singapore

According to a 2023 survey, close to half (46%) of Singaporeans place mental health as the biggest health issue facing the country today, followed by cancer (38%) and stress (35%). Mental health has replaced Covid-19 as the top concern from the 2021 edition, while stress has moved up from No. 4 into the third biggest concern.

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of resources and support available to help you navigate life’s challenges and prioritise your well-being. In fact, addressing mental health and well-being is a key priority on the national agenda, and our government is making significant moves to improve mental health and well-being among residents, with the promise of more resources to meet demand.

Community hotlines and counselling services

In times of distress, reaching out for support can make all the difference. Community hotlines and support groups are like warm hugs on a rough day – they’re here to listen and help you through the tough times. Don’t hesitate to reach out! Your well-being matters, and help is just a call away. Here’s some hotlines that may be of help to you:

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

SOS is a non-profit organisation offering confidential emotional support to individuals in need of help, including those experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings of distress. You can call their 24-hour hotline at 1-767.

If you feel anxious about calling someone, you can text them at 9151 1767 to tap on their 24-hour WhatsApp service called CareText instead! You’ll remain anonymous throughout the text conversation and it can go as long as you feel comfortable with.

They also provide CareMail, an alternative avenue of emotional support for those who prefer to write in via email (pat@sos.org.sg).

webCHAT

This text-based chat service comes with a follow-up service to ensure that your mental health is being taken care of in the long run. You can share your feelings and concerns with your assigned counsellor, who will provide you with advice and counselling based on your current situation.

Silver Ribbon Singapore

Silver Ribbon Singapore provides free counselling sessions via WhatsApp, Zoom, at their office in Serangoon, or even at your home, depending on your needs and situation. 

You can also check out their online talks that help to raise awareness on regular mental health issues. 

Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service

Open to youths aged between 12 to 25 years old, ec2.sg is a community mental health programme that includes Quick Chat, a one-to-one mental health screening via online chat that is free-of-charge.

Institute of Mental Health Helpline

If you are facing a mental health crisis, you can speak to professional counsellors by calling IMH’s hotline at 63892222.

You may also seek medical help at IMH’s 24-hour Emergency Service located at their facility (10 Buangkok View). 

Online Counselling on Family Assist (OCFA)

When it comes to problems with your family, marriage or parenting, you might want to try OCFA’s online counselling service. It is anonymous and provided free-of-charge to Singapore citizens, permanent residents and non-residents of Singapore with a Singapore connection, aged 18 and above.

You can arrange for a counselling session through live chat, audio call or email.

Oogachaga

For LGBTQ+ individuals, or if you’re having concerns about your sexuality, identity, relationships and sexual health, you can discuss your feelings with Oogachaga’s trained volunteers through WhatsApp, email or in a face-to-face setting. 

Tinkle Friend

Tinkle Friend is a national toll-free helpline and chatline for all primary school-aged children in Singapore that provides support to lonely and distressed children, especially in situations when their parents or main caregivers are unavailable.

You can call their helpline at 1800-2744-788, or chat with Tinkle Friend online by clicking the pop-up box on the bottom right hand corner of their website.

Do note that their helpline and chat box is only open from 2.30pm-5pm on weekdays.

Break The Silence

If you or someone you know is suffering from violence or abuse, it is crucial to seek help as soon as possible. You can call Break The Silence’s helpline at 1800-777-0000 or make an online report on their website.

PAVE Integrated Services

PAVE provides services for persons who are dealing with or have survived interpersonal violence. For instance, PAVE provides Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help children and adolescents with post-traumatic stress symptoms and other difficulties related to traumatic life events.

Read more: Are You an Emotional Spender? Try These 5 Free Mental Health Apps

This list is just the beginning. Singapore’s landscape of helplines and support groups has grown significantly over the past decade, and the government is planning to invest more in the mental health sector over the next few years. 

For instance, one of the goals to be achieved by 2030 or earlier is that mental health services will be introduced to all polyclinics and 900 more general practitioner (GP) clinics, while an additional 28,000 front-line personnel and volunteers will be trained to help identify those struggling with mental health.

There are plenty of people who are looking out for you, all dedicated to supporting you through life’s challenges. Take some time to explore your options and find the counselling hotline or service that feels right for you. Whether you prefer a listening ear over the phone, a supportive community online, or a face-to-face conversation with a counsellor, there’s bound to be something out there that fits your unique needs. 

Remember – you’re not alone, and there’s always someone ready to listen and support you on your journey to better mental health.

Tips to take care of your everyday mental health

Building a support network

One of the most important steps in maintaining good mental health is building a strong support network. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends, family members, and mentors can provide a valuable safety net during times of stress or difficulty. 

Take the time to identify those in your life who are trustworthy and understanding, and don’t hesitate to reach out to them when you need support or a listening ear.

Cultivating Self-Care Practices

Self-care is essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being. Incorporating simple, low-cost or free self-care activities into your daily routine can help you recharge and reduce stress. 

Consider activities such as taking a walk in nature, practising mindfulness or meditation, journaling, or engaging in a hobby you enjoy. 

Create a self-care plan that aligns with your lifestyle and schedule regular self-care activities to prioritise your well-being.

Prioritising Physical Health

Physical health and mental health are closely intertwined. Taking care of your body through regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can have a significant impact on your mental well-being. 

Aim to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, even if it’s just a short walk or a few minutes of stretching. Fuel your body with nutritious foods that nourish both your body and mind, and prioritise getting enough restorative sleep each night.

Setting realistic goals and boundaries 

Setting realistic goals and boundaries is essential for maintaining balance and preventing burnout. Prioritise your commitments and responsibilities, and don’t be afraid to say no to additional tasks or obligations when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Break bigger tasks down into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way. Remember that it’s okay to take breaks and prioritise your well-being, even when there are demands on your time and energy.

Read more: 8 Tips To Boost Your Mental Health

If you’re struggling with persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or other mental health concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for support. Counselling, therapy, and other forms of mental health treatment can provide valuable tools and strategies for coping with life’s challenges and improving your overall well-being.

Remember that your mental health matters, and investing in it is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself!

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