Forum: Current approach to tackling mental health does not benefit the lower-income

The Covid-19 outbreak has brought mental well-being to the forefront, with numerous resources being shared online on how to maintain a healthy state of mind.

Such resources help to raise awareness of the various ways to maintain our mental health, and encourage people to seek the help that they need.  However, our approach to tackling such issues generally does not benefit the lower-income members of society. 

Caring for our mental health, such as talking to a therapist or taking up a new hobby, requires plenty of time and resources, which many lower-income citizens do not have.

Instead, they would be spending their time working to support their family or helping to care for their family members.

Furthermore, the stress of having to put food on the table and meet the basic needs of the family would cause one’s mental health to deteriorate considerably.

Although there are schemes that subsidise treatment for mental health issues, it would still be relatively costly for the lower-income and they would tend to use that time to work rather than to seek help.

An expansion of assistance schemes for the lower-income would, among other benefits, reduce the toll on their mental health. 

Nipping the problem in the bud, or at least weakening it, will help to boost the happiness of more Singaporeans and reduce the weighty emotional and mental burdens faced by them.

Christian Wong Kai En