Forum: IMH reaches out actively to community

We thank Mr Matthew Lee for his letter, "Take down fencing around IMH to promote inclusivity on mental health issues" (Aug 26).

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is nestled in a residential neighbourhood, and our campus has been designed with an open concept right from the start. The boundary fence exists for the purpose of security (especially at night) and pandemic control (when we may be required to screen visitors at a central entrance). In the day, visitors have free access to the campus via the main entrance and two side gates.

Over the years, IMH has put in place various facilities and amenities for the enjoyment of residents who live around the area. Our aim in doing so is to welcome visitors to our campus and to demystify mental health services.

There is a children's playground and exercise corner near the entrance, a jogging track that circles our campus, and a charging station for electric vehicles. Residents frequently use these facilities and also patronise our foodcourt and tenant services such as a traditional Chinese medicine clinic and a convenience shop.

Mr Lee has rightly pointed out that promoting understanding and acceptance is a way to dispel the stigma surrounding mental health issues. To this end, IMH also holds public talks, visit programmes and open houses so that the public may visit, gain knowledge and unveil the unhelpful mystery surrounding mental health conditions. In some of these activities, we partner people with lived experience to share their stories and show that recovery is possible.

IMH also works with public and social service agencies as well as community groups to raise awareness. We run training programmes for community partners and front-line officers so that they in turn may provide appropriate support to the communities they serve.

I believe more can continue to be done to raise awareness and build inclusivity for those with lived experience. A good practice is to advocate, as Mr Lee did.

Daniel Fung (Dr)

Chief Executive Officer

Institute of Mental Health

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.