Jon: Organizations in the Mental Health Scene in Singapore

To end our series on the mental health scene in Singapore, we will be briefly introducing the major agencies and Voluntary Welfare Organizations (VWOs) who are heavily involved in the advocacy, education, and treatment for mental health related issues.  The main purpose of this post is to compile and summarise information about these various organizations.  All information and pictures here are taken from their respective web pages, so to find out more we recommend that you explore their respective websites.  All the organizations below provide volunteering opportunities if you wish to be more active and make a difference in the lives of the mentally ill!
*Images displayed below are obtained from their respective (or related) websites.

Institute of Mental Health (IMH):  http://www.imh.com.sg/
The IMH is the first and only mental health hospital in Singapore, catering to a wide range of consumers, ranging from young children to more elderly populations.  They also serve as a training institute for the next generation of mental health professionals.  Additionally, beside their inpatient and outpatient clinics, IMH is heavily involved in various community mental health services.  One of these services is the Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) which is a national youth mental health program that aims to raise mental health awareness and provide them with a platform to seek mental health related support.  Some other programs that IMH runs that you may be interested to learn about are listed below:
  • Response, Early intervention and Assessment in Community mental Health (REACH)
  • Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)
  • Aged Psychiatry Community Assessment Treatment Services (APCATS)
  • Mental Health General Practitioner Partnerships Program
  • OcTAVE Day Rehabilitation Centres 

Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH): http://www.samhealth.org.sg/
The SAMH was the first community mental health agency to be started in Singapore, and aims to provide quality community and rehabilitative services to persons with mental health issues.  Their mission is to improve the lives of persons with mental illness and provide support for their families, promote acceptance and respect for persons with mental illness, and to improve mental resilience in the community.  Some of the services they provide are counselling (either by helpline or appointments), mobile mental health outreach team, community mental health education, and support services (caregiver support, peer support, support for eating disorders).

Silver Ribbon Singapore (SRS):  http://www.silverribbonsingapore.com/
Silver Ribbon (Singapore) is a well-established VWO in Singapore’s mental health scene.  They were founded in 2006 and have since made it their mission to combat mental health stigma, encourage early treatment, and to facilitate the integration of people with mental illness within the society through innovative means of promoting mental health literacy.  Some of the services that are provided by SRS are mental health awareness workshops, complimentary counselling services, job placements for consumers of mental health issues, and various mental health outreach events.

Club HEAL:  http://www.clubheal.org.sg/
The HEAL in Club HEAL stands for Hope, Empowerment, Acceptance, and Love, and they aim to assist and empower persons with mental illness to regain confidence in themselves and others in their journey towards community reintegration.  In addition to this aim, their mission also includes assisting the elderly regain confidence and a sense of independence through learning appropriate adaptive skills.  They provide services such as day psychiatric rehabilitation services, support groups, home-based community support, public talks to raise awareness, and provide links for greater outreach to those who need it.

Clarity Singapore:  http://www.clarity-singapore.org/
Clarity Singapore is a mental health charity endorsed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, and aims to provide care right in the heartlands through counselling services and workshops.  They also work closely with other community partners to help establish an integrated support network for mental health in Singapore.  Their mission is serve persons with mental health issues to live meaningful lives through support, therapy, acceptance, and recovery.  Their services include individual/group therapy sessions, mental wellness activities, public talks, and customized psycho-education training talks.

Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS):  http://sacs.org.sg/
SACS is part of the community service arm of the Diocese of Singapore, and the serve the community through the provision of psychiatric services, senior services, and services for special groups.  Their mission is to provide refuge and relief for the psychiatrically-disabled and people in crisis, and aims to be an excellent Christian welfare organization, effectively accomplishing rehabilitation of those under their care.  The services they provide are counselling, short term residential care, day rehabilitation services, and a wide range of employment services that helps persons with mental health issues in job related issues.

Agency for Integrated Care (AIC):  http://www.aic.sg/
AIC’s main purpose is to facilitate the transition of patients from hospitals back into the community.  They do so by working with various community care partners and support them through service development and manpower capability building.  One of their programs for mental health is known as the Community Resources and Support Engagement Team, and they provide  a basic community safety network for people with dementia and depression.  Part of this program is also support given to caregivers to help them care better for their loved ones.  The main difference from the other agencies is that AIC serves more as a platform to link various organizations together to provide the best level of care. Other AIC programs are listed below:
  • COMmunity Interventions Teams (COMIT)
  • Assessment and Shared Care Team (ASCAT)
  • Dementia Home Intervention Program
  • Eldersit Services
  • Dementia-Friendly Communities (DFC)
  • Mental Health General Practitioner Partnership
  • Local Community Support Network

We have finally come to the end of our series on mental health in Singapore. It definitely will not be the last we have!  We hope you enjoy this post as there is so much more to cover and we hope to properly represent any of these organizations and the awesome work they do, without risking putting all of you to sleep due to this lengthy post.
Thank you, kind readers, for the support throughout these two months and we do hope that this series has raised more awareness and also encourages more of you to play a more active role in the mental health community!

Jon: Silver Ribbon Singapore Youth Chapter

To follow up from our previous post on the mental health scene in Singapore, we will be introducing a new youth initiative by the Silver Ribbon Singapore organization.  Silver Ribbon (Singapore) is a well-established Voluntary Welfare Organization in Singapore’s mental health scene.  They were founded in 2006 and have since made it their mission to combat mental health stigma, encourage early treatment, and to facilitate the integration of people with mental illness within the society through innovative means of promoting mental health literacy.  The Silver Ribbon Singapore Youth Chapter is the newest addition to their ever-growing family of mental health advocates.


The youth chapter will be engaging in 3 programs that will be expanded as the chapter grows.

The decluttering program will involve volunteers helping to clear out the houses of hoarders (individuals who tend to store excessive amounts of items in their homes, to the point where it affects their daily life), as they have done before and were even featured in the Straits Times Causes Week 2016 for their work (see article link below).
Image Credit: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/causes-week-2016-youth-on-a-mission-to-declutter-homes
 The befriending program will involve our volunteers being dispatched to be with the mentally ill within the community (e.g., accompany them to check-ups etc.).  Now we all know how lonely and scary it can be to go for medical appointments at times, especially when you’re worried about the outcome of that appointment.  Imagine if you had an anxiety issue, that worry will just become even worse, and that is where our volunteers can step in and help assure them everything will be fine and that going to their medical appointments will help them get better in the long run.

The outreach program will require volunteers to help with administrative duties (e.g., answering queries or directing people to relevant sources etc.) at our various outreach programs.  Stigma and lack of mental health awareness is such a big problem in our community these days.  While much is already being done by CHAT (Community Health Assessment Team under the Institute of Mental Health) and other mental health VWOs (which we will be covering in more detail in another post), the youth chapter will be a great platform for youths interested in combating stigma and educating others about mental health issues to truly make an impact!

So to everyone passionate about the mental health community, take this opportunity and head down to the Silver Ribbon Singapore Youth Chapter’s Facebook Page to find out more and sign up to join them!