Forum: Take down fencing around IMH to promote inclusivity on mental health issues

I suggest that the Government dismantle the security fencing around the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) campus and the wider Buangkok Green Medical Park.

There have been more people, including the young, with mental health issues in recent years, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an IMH study.

However, the stigma against mental health patients could have deterred many from seeking early intervention.

While significant strides have been made by the Government and non-governmental organisations in dispelling the associated stigma, more can be done.

Discrimination against people suffering from psychological conditions exists mainly due to misunderstandings about mental health disorders. Therefore, the only way to dispel the stigma is to promote more understanding and acceptance about psychological conditions.

Education is a good method, as evidenced by the Ministry of Education's recent efforts to educate teachers and students about mental health conditions.

More can be done to deal with the complexity and increasing prevalence of mental illness.

Breaking down the physical barriers around IMH would send a powerful message on inclusivity and acceptance of mental health patients in society.

Many of those with mental health issues can contribute to Singapore's advancement if their conditions are well managed.

When patients perceive themselves as normal, productive and integral members of society, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The load on the healthcare system will be reduced and more psychiatric capacity can be devoted to caring for young people suffering from psychological issues.

Matthew Lee

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