Health Check Podcast: IMH CEO wants to wage war on stress

In this podcast, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo and chief executive officer of Institute of Mental Health (IMH) Prof Daniel Fung, take a deep dive into stress. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

Traditionally, the Institute of Mental Health or IMH has focused mainly on taking care of those who are severely ill with mental disorders. Now, it also wants to look at improving the mental health of Singaporeans by helping them manage their stress.

We all need to swim and keep afloat in the sea of stress. Is there a way to do it better? Can we avoid sinking into it and does stress lead to mental illness? What’s the difference between good and bad stress? 

Does having the genes for a mental illness mean that we cannot avoid becoming mentally ill? What can be done on the population level?

In this episode, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo take a deep dive into stress with the chief executive officer of Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Prof Daniel Fung.

Highlights (click/tap above):

03:30 What is allostatic overload, that refers to the cumulative burden of chronic stress and life events?

06:50 Bad stress indicators and how adverse childhood experiences are predictors

10:19 Epigenetics: Studying how your behaviour and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work

13:55 How IMH wants to help people help themselves, and manage stresses of life

16:40 Prof Fung on the 3Rs to help combat stress before it overwhelms

Produced by: Joyce Teo (, Ernest Luis and Eden Soh 

Edited by: Eden Soh

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