SINGAPORE - Residents in the north of Singapore will have more access to support services after Club Heal, a voluntary welfare organisation that helps people with mental illness and their families, launched a new centre in Marsiling on Saturday (April 23).
The centre - Club Heal's third - provides psychiatric day rehabilitative services for people recovering from mental health issues, through activities such as pottery making. It also conducts home visit assessments, counselling, case management and support groups.
The centre started operations on April 4 at the void deck of 317 Woodlands Street 31.
A Community Intervention Team under the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) is housed at the centre to care for people with mental health needs, along with their caregivers, so that they can live at home rather than in an institution.
MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Halimah Yacob, who is also Speaker of Parliament, said the constituency will benefit from the centre as it has a high rate of elderly and low-income residents.
She said in a speech at the centre's opening that the Government has made some headway in improving support for those suffering from mental illnesses by putting in place the National Mental Health Blueprint in 2006 and the Mental Health Action Plan in 2013, but studies have found that empathy and understanding for people with mental illnesses is still low.
"What the Government cannot do is legislate against stigma...Only we in the community and as individuals can do that. We can be the voice, support those with mental illness and help them to integrate back into society," she said.
Dr Radiah Salim, founder and president of Club Heal, also thanked donors, volunteers and staff for their support and welcomed Marsiling residents to join the centre as volunteers or clients.