Real life struggles with mental illness can eventually remove prejudice

It is not every day when a patient struggling with serious mental health issues comes out openly to share her journey, and to this end, I have nothing but admiration for Miss Julia Abdullah (Fear of ridicule stops people with OCD from seeking help; Feb, 28).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is not at all easy to cope with. The bizarre behaviour that patients display during the onslaught of the illness is bound to pose relationship problems.

And when people fail to understand what the sufferer is going through, they become judgmental and prejudice sets in.

People like Miss Julia can take heart in the recent Budget announcement during which Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced more support for people with disabilities and those with mental health issues (Increased aid to tackle dementia, mental health issues; Feb 21).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is not at all easy to cope with. The bizarre behaviour that patients display during the onslaught of the illness is bound to pose relationship problems.

In addition, stronger support for people with disabilities will come in the form of the third Enabling Masterplan, a road map for disability services, which will cover the period 2017 to 2021.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2017, with the headline 'Real life struggles with mental illness can eventually remove prejudice'. Print Edition | Subscribe