The Party launched #BetterTogether, an initiative to raise awareness and drive collective action for mental health in Singapore, building on the Party’s past and existing efforts to champion mental health literacy, support and de-stigmatisation.
Launched at the Apiary on Apr 30, 2022 by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling and Jalan Besar GRC MP Dr Wan Rizal, #BetterTogether will engage community support groups, domain experts and the public through surveys and plenary sessions and dialogues.
The three also appeared in a launch video directed by award-winning filmmaker Royston Tan, urging people to support each other and de-stigmatise conversations around mental health.
The 90 second-video tackles heavy topics of mental health including the stresses of rejection and the weight of both internal and external expectations on oneself.
Ultimately, through #BetterTogether, the Party aims to consolidate ground concerns and proposals and push for legislative and policy changes.
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said: “Mental health struggles can affect us all. #BetterTogether reiterates the PAP’s commitment towards mental health and building a resilient Singapore that can continue thriving amid adversity. We want to rally all to take action and advocate a paradigm shift with us so that no one is alone in his or her journey of recovery.”
Minister of State Sun highlighted the need for a whole-of society effort on this matter, saying: “Mental Health is a deeply personal issue but it is also one that extends beyond the individual because a person’s life is so intricately interwoven into those around him or her. How do we ensure that there is a helping hand before one steps into the abyss of despair? It is paramount that we create a circle of care and support around individuals.”
The three also spoke at a roundtable discussion that touches with some of Singapore’s key mental health organisations and thought leaders. Among the topics discussed were building personal capacity to safeguard mental health and well-being; creating a strong ecosystem of support for all; and changing the mindset towards mental health.
“I’d like to say that we really need to send out this message that we are not alone in this. We shouldn’t have this feeling, individually or as a community, that if something happened to us, when we need help, we are all alone. Actually we are all in this together,” said Minister Chan.
Findings of mental health survey by Young PAP
A survey conducted by Young PAP (YP) involving more than 600 respondents found that one in two young people aged 15 to 35 have personally experienced mental health struggles. In addition, more than 90 per cent of those surveyed would like to see more being done for mental health in our society, reinforcing past national surveys. Key observations include:
− Some 80 per cent of the respondents know of someone who has experienced mental health struggles. two-in-five of those surveyed have personally experienced mental health struggles.
− More than 70 per cent of the respondents concurred that there is a lack of awareness of the issues associated with mental health.
− However, more than 70 per cent of our respondents do not feel equipped to help or support someone else who is struggling from mental health problems.
− More than 90 per cent of those surveyed concurred that the effects of mental health illnesses are often undermined or dismissed, with 70 per cent attesting to these incidents.
− Many respondents shared their fears and stigmas relating to mental health, with more than 50 per cent of our respondents reflecting their unwillingness to discuss their problems openly with others. This number is also higher for our youths with more than 60 per cent reflecting this sentiment.
Find out more about the initiative here.