2022 roundup: When it comes to mental health, we’re #BetterTogether December 24, 2022 In this year-end roundup series, Petir.sg looks back at key moments of 2022. “Let’s push for change and take action together for our mental health, so that we can be #BetterTogether.” This launch video message summed up the Party’s #BetterTogether mental health campaign succinctly. Source: Chan Chun Sing Facebook Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, and MP Wan Rizal (Jalan Besar GRC) lead #BetterTogether. And #BetterTogether’s April 30 launch was concurrent with the release of the results of a Young PAP survey of 600 respondents. The survey found that about half of Singaporean youths were unwilling to seek help for their mental health struggles. This despite four out of every ten respondents overall reported having personally experienced these struggles. Additionally, over 90 per cent of survey respondents reported that mental health illnesses are often undermined or dismissed; 70 per cent attested to such incidents. And more than 70 per cent of the respondents found that a lack of awareness surrounds mental health issues. A personal issue with community solutions Enter #BetterTogether. It is the Party raising awareness and driving collective action for mental health in Singapore. It builds upon the Party’s past and existing efforts on the ground and in Parliament to champion mental health literacy, support and de-stigmatisation. #BetterTogether’s ambit includes community support groups, domain experts and the Singaporean public. Here, #BetterTogether surveys perspectives and collects feedback. It holds plenary sessions and dialogues on mental health and well-being. All so that the Party can shape relevant legislative and policy changes for, well, the better. For example, Minister Chan, MOS Sun and MP Wan spoke at a roundtable session alongside Singapore’s mental health organisations and thought leaders. Source: Chan Chun Sing Facebook “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. MOS Sun concurred. “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,” she said. No one is alone The crux of these circles of care is that help goes around. “Today, we might be the ones receiving help. Tomorrow, we might be the ones giving help as well,” said Minister Chan during the roundtable discussion. That launch video mentioned at the start, in fact, casts light on that. In it, our leaders came forward, stating that it’s all right; they too find it hard sometimes. “We can’t afford to be weak. Not especially when others are counting on us to be strong for them,” shared Dr Wan Rizal. “But there are even moments where even the strong person has to nurse the wounds.” “There is no wrong in wanting to be better. And together, we can get better,” he added. We do recommend watching the video. It’s rather raw; it’s rather worthwhile. Top image credit: #BetterTogether launch video.