Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on...

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS IN AN AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is part of our lives, but it is a double-edged sword. Some of you view it positively because that is your way to spread good and positive messages. Some of you use it to destress together with your friends.

But on the other hand, many of us, adults included, get this Fomo - fear of missing out - feeling. Why is it that nobody seems to react to the photo I posted? So that, I think, is a layer of stress for many of you. You have to face this kind of comparison every moment of your life...

Learning how to cope with this is also very important because, otherwise, you would be beholden to the entire social media feed and your whole psychology will be driven by this, and that's unhealthy.

THE STIGMA SURROUNDING MENTAL ILLNESSES

I've heard very sad stories where the youths needed help, but were fearful that they would be stigmatised and it will be in their records... We want everyone to share the message - that it can happen to any one of us and it can happen at any point in our life and there should be no stigma if you come forward and seek help. And it's actually better to seek help early rather than later. And that is a message that I think we hope that more of our young people, more of our parents can understand and accept. But having said that, it's a cultural shift that we need to engender in society. And having said that, I'm also quite encouraged to see that among the younger generation, more of them are coming forward to talk about it. But there are many more whom I suspect are not coming forward yet.

Recently, in the Olympics, some elite athletes talked about the mental health challenges they face. There's no shame in talking about it... That's how we grow and it's part of growing up.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 01, 2021, with the headline 'Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on...'. Subscribe