What is counselling like in Singapore? Do many people lack mental health management skills? Check out Aventis’s counseling courses here! The Samaritans of Singapore, a nonprofit organization that provides emotional support to individuals facing a crisis, had received 26,460 calls from January to August 2020, which was significantly higher than the number of calls they received exactly a year before.
This is mainly due to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has not only caused mental health challenges for those who had none before, but it has also aggravated those with pre-existing mental health situations. Even though there are plenty of networks providing mental health services in Singapore, some people still find it difficult to seek help. Why is this so?
Within Singapore’s public healthcare system, a subsidised counselling session may cost around $30 to $50 per hour. Meanwhile, a session with a counselor or a psychiatrist in a private facility will cost at least $100 and $250 per hour, respectively. Many Singaporeans, particularly young people and those from lower-income groups, did not seek professional help because they simply couldn’t afford it. And mental health treatment doesn’t usually take just one session—they need to see if they can afford prolonged treatment.
Too many selections
Yes, too many options are also a problem. There are plenty of mental health resources made available in Singapore, but some people find it difficult to choose a mental health service that is suitable for them because they don’t know what differentiates a psychiatrist from a psychotherapist or with whom they should engage. For people who are already struggling with their mental health situations, browsing through the many services can be an overwhelming experience. Whether or not there are many resources to choose from, if there’s no information or navigation on selecting the appropriate one, this problem will continue to exist.
Although mental health awareness is steadily increasing in Singapore, there is still a considerable stigma around the topic. These stigmas can come from family members, friends, and even the public. And because of these stigmas that claim those with mental health challenges are “weak”, “sick” or “crazy”. Many people, especially youths who are still trying to form their identity, struggle to keep their issues or challenges to themselves.
Lack of knowledge
One of the main contributors to stigma is poor mental health knowledge. It was found that many individuals in Singapore are unable to distinguish between different types of mental health challenges. And because of this, misconceptions and stigma continue to haunt those with mental health challenges, which further discourages them from seeking help.
As much as it’s important to destigmatise mental health challenges, it’s also important to change the narrative that it only happens to certain people. Individuals from well-to-do families may minimize their mental health challenges by thinking that they don’t have reasons to feel that way. When this happens, they may refuse to seek treatment and end up in a worse situation. But the truth is, anyone can be mentally and emotionally challenged, regardless of social background.
Individuals suffering from mental health disorders do not need to suffer alone and in silence. Treatments by mental health professionals are widely available. Also, we can all play a part in alleviating their suffering by increasing our understanding of mental health disorders, minimizing the impact of stigma, and directing them to appropriate resources in the community.
To study more about counselling and mental health, enquired with Aventis School of Management now.
Check out our other articles, 7 Myths Behind Mental Health Management