Mental health inclusivity and affordability for S’poreans is a key priority for DPM Wong

07/02/2024

“LET THERE be no doubt the Government is making mental health and wellbeing a key priority in our national agenda,” said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong to Parliament this Wednesday afternoon (Feb 7) when rising in support of the Motion on Advancing Mental Health from five of our PAP MPs including Dr Wan Rizal (Jalan Besar GRC); the Motion recognises mental health as a health, social and economic issue which needs tackling as a nation-wide effort. 

The latest figures from the Ministry of Health indeed show that nearly one in six Singaporeans now have poor mental health. At the same time, the figures do show that four in five Singaporeans unable to cope with stress will seek help from people they trust, such as friends, family, religious leaders and teachers. Truly, it takes a village. 

So the PAP Government’s medium-term targets for mental health include introducing mental health services to all polyclinics and 900 additional general practitioner clinics as well as training another 28,000 people in mental health first aid, said DPM Wong. 

At the same time, he encouraged Singaporeans to shift mindsets and do more to destigmatise mental health conditions.  

“Stigma reduces a complex and difficult problem into unhelpful labels and stereotypes. It often opens people struggling with mental health to discrimination such as in the job market,” said DPM Wong.  

“It may cause them to be socially ostracised, it makes them feel ashamed, isolated, and stops them from seeking treatment. As I mentioned just now, we do see attitudes shifting, but the stigma remains. We know that. And we can do much more to build a society where we help one another cope with life stressors, and are considerate of each other’s feelings and carve out safe spaces for them,” he continued, calling on Singaporeans to join him and the rest of the 4G team in this national mental health movement. 

A kinder, more inclusive Singapore

DPM Wong’s vision of people looking out for each other, backed by a government which invests and takes action for their well-being and future, is a way towards a kinder, even more inclusive Singapore. It is where Singaporeans are headed in the journey ahead.    

So here, DPM Wong’s words — elaborated upon by Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary, Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Eric Chua — came as part of his timely assurance that the PAP Government is taking action to grow the metaphorical village of help for mental health. And to keep mental health help overall well-resourced, free from stigma and always there for any Singaporean who needs it. 

Source: Lawrence Wong / Facebook