SG Mental Health Matters is a community initiative that was started off as a simple public consultation exercise to support Nominated Member of Parliament Anthea Ong's preparation for the Budget 2020 debates focusing on mental healthcare and mental wellbeing. What was to be an effort to gather feedback from a few Singaporeans turned into close to 400 responses from the Public Consultation, within a matter of a couple of weeks!
This tells us many of you want to be heard. So we decided we will create this space for you to join in the conversation too, to share your challenges, your hopes and also your asks for change. We hope that this is a ground-up effort that can involve more people to advocate for better mental health and well-being of all in Singapore!
With the overwhelming response rate and support received, we came to the conclusion that it will be a disservice to respondents for the consultation to be utilised solely for Budget 2020, in light of the immense amounts of effort and hope that respondents have invested in their responses. Hence, this website, SGMentalHealthMatters.com, was set up. We took this extraordinary step in order to:
As part of the public consultation efforts, we are grateful to have the opportunity to engage the following organizations and initiatives to better understand the needs and challenges faced by different communities.
In 2021, we ran the #AreWeOkay poll ran from 26 March 2021 to 30 April 2021, which was intended to spark a conversation on mental health among Singaporeans amid the pandemic as part of public consultation 2021.
This poll was launched on OPPi, an AI-powered crowdsourcing platform with proprietary analytic and statistical capabilities and involved a series of demographic questions and statements to which participants could respond to, including topics on perceptions of mental healthcare, vulnerable communities, COVID-19 on mental health, and mental health and society.
Our findings provide deeper insight into issues of access, affordability, and quality of mental healthcare in Singapore a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings suggest a need to further support and address the pressing concern surrounding mental health more holistically. Find out more here
The loving volunteers, past and present, behind the community:
Anthea Ong (Founder)
Dr. Chua Sook Ning, PhD
Dr. Jane Lim, PhD
Dr. Jared Lee, MBBS
Dr. Mythily Subramaniam, MBBS & PhD
Dr. Ong Suan Ee, PhD
Dr. Rayner Tan, PhD (SGMHM Lead)
Dr. Rosie Ching, PhD
Dr. Shahira Abdullah, BDS
“Mental health and climate change are so invisible they are often pushed to the ‘important but not urgent quadrant,” she explained.
And for mental health, there is a second reason: “Bringing it up at this level of society would be a big, big way of destigmatising mental health (conditions).”
Nominated MP Anthea Ong had also spoken out against such declarations in her first parliamentary speech in November 2018. She told ST many international firms have long abolished the practice.
"This discriminatory practice is so entrenched in Singapore, especially amongst local employers, that dislodging this signals the first of many critical structural changes we need, to destigmatise mental health so as to be a truly inclusive and resilient society," she said.