Mental well-being integral to good health, says Halimah Yacob at opening of Brahm Centre at MacPherson

President Halimah Yacob adding two leaves to a Chinese painting at the official opening of the third Brahm centre at MacPherson on Dec 8, 2018.
President Halimah Yacob adding two leaves to a Chinese painting at the official opening of the third Brahm centre at MacPherson on Dec 8, 2018.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Mental well-being is an integral and essential component of good health, said President Halimah Yacob on Saturday (Dec 8).

"Having a supportive community helps with the recovery for those with mental health issues," said Madam Halimah.

"By leveraging existing service providers, we can improve access to mental health services through community engagement."

She added that collaborations between patients, social care workers, volunteers and local businesses can develop local networks.

These social networks can raise community mental health awareness, and improve knowledge on how, when and where to seek help, better reaching the under-served, Madam Halimah said at the official opening of the third Brahm centre at MacPherson.

It offers a range of services to help care and support for persons with mental health conditions in the community.

Over 500 individuals have visited the centre since it first opened on Oct 1 this year, for support and counselling services.

Associate Professor Angie Chew, founder of the Brahm Centre, said: "The Centre is important, as it serves both the mental and physical health needs of the community. Mental health is increasingly important as more people are finding life to be stressful."

The number of children and elderly suffering from anxiety and even depression is on the incline, added Prof Chew, commenting as well on the high density of lonely elderly in the area.

"By being closer to them, they are able to benefit from the myriad of programmes that we offer," Prof Chew added.

The proximity of the centre to the MacPherson estate has allowed the staff to respond faster to the needs of the elderly, and made it more convenient for seniors to get to the centre for activities, noted its centre manager Ms Fanny Foo.

The Brahm Centre, which offer free weekly health education forums, befriending and support services for patients and caregivers, and dementia screening and counselling services, has two other outlets at Novena and Simei.