More people in Singapore seeking help for mental illness

File photo showing a reception area at the Institute of Mental Health.
File photo showing a reception area at the Institute of Mental Health.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

As the Institute of Mental Health celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, social affairs correspondent Janice Tai looks at how it has moved away from the stereotype of a far-flung mental hospital to one which works with others, including its own patients, to spot and treat mental illnesses in the community

More people are seeking help for mental conditions such as depression, alcohol abuse and obsessive compulsive disorder, and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) hopes to have more of them treated in the community.

Last year, 42,663 people went for outpatient treatment at IMH - Singapore's only tertiary psychiatric hospital. This was a 22 per cent rise from the 35,002 people seen in 2010. Inpatient admissions - about 9,000 last year - have been growing at a slower rate of less than 1 per cent each year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 29, 2018, with the headline 'More people seeking help for mental illness'. Print Edition | Subscribe