There are many local news stories which implicate mental health issues. But rarely an explanation about the mental health issue involved.
We use the term “mental illness” to refer to medical conditions including schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder. Other times, we use the term “mental health” to refer to the same things.
But there are conceptual differences. WHO defines mental health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease“. That means that mental health is also about our immune system, physical health indices, life satisfaction, and psychological wellbeing, as well as our capacity to regulate mood and manage emotions, ability to manage daily stress, resilience, and coping mechanisms for dealing with stressful events.
The collaboration between mental health professionals and the police service (e.g., a UK pilot scheme) is a step in the right direction. Education is of course a reliable way to address mental health awareness issues at the workplace.
But what information is available about mental health in Singapore? A speedy search on google for local information about individual mental health issues and concerns yields at least one relevant website. Here’s a cheat sheet:
3. Eating disorders
AWARE offers an FAQ on eating disorders here.
HPB offers an overview of anxiety, including symptoms and treatment options.
5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
HPB lists the symptoms of OCD.
6. Alcohol Dependence
NAMS lists the warning signs.
8. An Addiction to Gaming
Among the signs is the use of gaming as a means of escaping problems and the act of concealing game playing from family and friends. Read this NAMS overview.
9. Substance Dependence
Watch out for these behaviours in your co-workers (NAMS).
Schizophrenia is defined by IMH as “a disorder of fragmented mental processes”. Click here for more information.
12. Learning Difficulties
Employees are also often parents who may have children with learning difficulties at school. Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder or ADHD information is available on Spark, while dyslexia assessments are available through the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. Autism resources are abundant at the Autism Resource Centre.
The International OCD Foundation has a useful fact sheet on hoarding. Finally, Singapore Focus on the Family offers advice for families faced with bullying at school, while the Media Literacy Council has information for individuals experiencing cyberbullying and AWARE has advice for personal protection orders and family violence.
Information is power. Don’t be afraid to use it.