Common ground statements were defined as statements that had achieved a high level of consensus, either as agreements or disagreements. We identified three key areas of common ground statements; the first being statements surrounding one’s perspectives on mental health systems - including factors such as quality, affordability and access; the second being the mental health burden on vulnerable groups; and last being suicide prevention.
Perceptions of mental health systems
Overall, a majority of participants felt that cost was a barrier to quality mental healthcare in Singapore (78.9%), and that they would claim for the use of mental health services through work insurance, if covered (72.5%). Many thought that mental health treatment should involve both talking therapies and medication (78.7%), that compulsory mental health screening should be conducted in all secondary schools (76.6%), and that the increase in public awareness of mental health has increased their willingness to reach out for mental health support when they need to (63.0%). Finally, in contrast, 52.6% of participants disagreed that the standard of public mental healthcare in Singapore is satisfactory.
“As a young person, it can be difficult to afford mental health. I also find it difficult to use MediSave, as there is a cap. Certain antidepressants are not subsidised.”
Overall, a majority of participants felt that people living with disabilities (89.6%), LGBTQ+ individuals (73.8%), individuals from low-income households (81.8%), and healthcare professionals (85.8%) are at greater mental health risk, and that they should be given additional support.
“Financial insecurity is a huge source of constant stress, affecting the amount of education children can afford. Limited upward mobility due to economic circumstances makes it hard to break the cycle.”
Overall, a majority of participants felt that not enough is being done to prevent suicide in Singapore (79.1%), and the role of parents and the family as a prevention and intervention strategy for children’s suicide risk has not been explored enough (89.2%).
“There is only one [suicide] hotline, demand is too high and supply too low. IMH is FULL, patients wait up to 8 hours and I was sent to the general ward because there were no beds. There are limited conversations and support groups and services for suicidal patients and suicide survivors.”