Work together to boost mental well-being of community: President

Institutions should continue to collaborate to build a more caring society, she says

A collective and collaborative approach is necessary to be effective in the nation's efforts to build a more caring and inclusive society, said President Halimah Yacob yesterday.

She urged like-minded institutions to continue collaborating with one another to bolster efforts at strengthening the mental well-being of the community.

"We can empower those living with mental health conditions to achieve their fullest potential, and help others in their recovery passage," she said.

Madam Halimah was speaking during a mental health webinar titled Be Kind To Your Mind, organised by the Singapore Muslim Women's Association (PPIS) and Berita Harian.

Addressing the issue of stigma, she stressed that a whole-of-community effort is required to overhaul deep-rooted societal mindsets. Madam Halimah added: "It is tempting to think that, as individuals, our efforts are barely enough to elicit real, positive change in the mental health landscape in Singapore.

"However, a little goes a long way in caring for and supporting someone... It is on us to create safe spaces in society so that, increasingly, more people will feel comfortable to come forward and reach out for help."

PPIS president Hazlina Abdul Halim said its SYM Academy - which specialises in therapeutic family-related work for individuals and couples, as well as training programmes for professionals working with families - is seeing a rise in the number of parents coming forward to learn more about counselling and psychotherapy services for children.

"This is a good sign. We are glad more parents are stepping up efforts to care for children's mental well-being," said Madam Hazlina.

Berita Harian editor Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman also noted that webinars such as this provide a valuable opportunity to highlight steps that can be taken to promote mental health and well-being.

"Conversations like this are especially important as many families and parents continue to struggle with various challenges daily, which is further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic situation," said Mr Saat.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 03, 2021, with the headline Work together to boost mental well-being of community: President. Subscribe