National Care Hotline for psychological first aid received more than 45,000 calls up to date
Updated: Oct 25
Since its inception in April of last year, the National Care Hotline has received over 45,000 calls, providing psychological first aid and emotional support to individuals who phone in.
The Covid-19 epidemic, according to Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary, has been a stress test for the country's mental health and healthcare services.
"This epidemic will continue to pose a threat to the population's mental well-being and health," he added.
Dr. Janil was presenting at the Asia-Pacific Mindfulness Conference, which featured a number of local and international specialists on subjects including mindfulness and mental health.
One of the most commonly discussed topics was the pandemic's influence on Singaporeans' mental health.
According to a series of polls conducted by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), while Singaporeans' quality of life has improved overall after last year's circuit breaker, anxiety levels have mainly remained "sustained" since then.
These surveys were conducted at three periods, according to NCSS chief executive Tan Li San: during the circuit breaker, when Singapore started phase two of its reopening.
She explained that the majority of her worry was from her job and income, adding: "There are many fears about the future, even as we go into the endemic (period). As a result, it is even more important that we look after our mental health, and mindfulness meditation is one method to do so."
The Brahm Centre's chief executive, Associate Professor Angie Chew, has seen that many individuals, from healthcare professionals to teachers and students, are under a lot of stress.
"If there isn't an approach or strategy that can help us regulate our thoughts and mental capacity, that's when we suffer burnout, sleeplessness, sadness, anxiety, and many other mental health issues," she said.
Since April of last year, the center has received more enquiries about its mindfulness classes. Last year, it taught more than 23,000 individuals, a threefold increase over the previous year, according to Prof Chew.
GETTING HELP: National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868 (8am - 12am)
Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service: eC2.sg website (Mon to Fri, 10am to 12pm, 2pm to 5pm) Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours) Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444 (24 hours) /1-767 (24 hours) Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm) Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6386-1928/6509-0271 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm) Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (Mon to Fri, 2.30pm to 5pm)/ Tinkle Friend website (Mon to Thu, 2.30pm to 7pm and Fri, 2.30pm to 5pm)
TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800-377-2252 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm) Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800 (Daily, 10am to 10pm)