Forum: Make mental health discussion part of school curriculum

President Halimah Yacob has conveyed her intention to make help more accessible to students with mental health issues (Mental health: Schools urged to do more for kids, Dec 18).

In Singapore, the number of mental health-related issues is increasing at an alarming rate, especially among the young.

With suicides among boys aged 10 to 19 at a record high in 2018, the effectiveness of current efforts tends to be questioned. Making mental health education mandatory in the school curriculum can be the first step.

I believe it would be highly beneficial to have a 45-minute session each week dedicated to educating students on mental health.

Through this, students can better understand mental illnesses and their symptoms.

This would aid them in understanding themselves better and help them convey their feelings if they need to seek help.

Furthermore, this will help students develop empathy towards their friends and eradicate the longstanding prejudice against mental illness, encouraging students to seek help when needed and to care for one another.

Working towards good mental health and seeking help early mean that students can get back on their feet more quickly when problems arise.

Inviting such a culture into schools will play a crucial role in promoting healthy social and emotional development for all.

Kelvin Kuok Thai Luk, 17

JC1 student