Mental health care looks to be the biggest beneficiary of this year’s budget in Singapore, as the country attempts to tackle a worrying increase in the number of young people suffering from conditions like depression and anxiety.
Over the next five years S$160m ($112m) will be invested in mental health care and support, in order to help educate people about how to look after their own (and others) mental wellbeing. As well as this mental health services will become available in polyclinics across the ‘red dot’ for the first time, providing residents with a greater access to support than ever before.
The decision to allocate more funding to mental healthcare in the country comes after a report, published in the winter of last year, highlighted a worrying increase in the number of young people suffering from mental health conditions in the country.
Statistics published by Samaritans in Singapore showed a sharp rise in the number of calls received from people between the ages of 10 and 19. Call numbers went from 244 in 2015 to 550 last year, with depression and bipolar disorder amongst the most common concerns that were spoken about.
Whilst the sharp rise looks concerning, it has been strongly linked with a better knowledge of mental health conditions and a reduction in the stigma surrounding them throughout the younger population by experts.
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