A young woman takes a break to do something analog like writing in her journal and drinking tea. This is a healthy practice for those who experience anxiety.

New mental health taskforce in Singapore.

A new internal agency has been convened by the Singaporean Government to provide a coordinated national response to the mental health needs in the country amid pandemic.

Speaking yesterday at the World Health Organization’s virtual event, The Big Event for Mental Health, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it was an example of how Singapore has worked to raise mental health literacy, promote early intervention and improve these services.

The Covid-19 Mental Wellness Taskforce was convened in the virtual conference.

It will review the psycho-social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the population and take stock of the initiatives introduced across the Government to address the impact so far, MOH said yesterday in response to queries.

What will the mental health task force do?

The task force will also identify gaps that will need to be addressed to better meet the mental health needs of the population during this time.

Its members include representatives from the Ministry of Education; Manpower; Social and Family Development; Culture, Community and Youth; Health Promotion Board; Agency for Integrated Care; People’s Association; and the National Council of Social Service.

In his speech, Lee said that ensuring access to quality mental care for every Singaporean is a major priority, with one in seven people here suffering from one of these conditions at some point.

He said awareness of the importance of mental wellness has grown, but people with these conditions are still not well understood or fully accepted.

“With Covid-19, more people are facing stresses, pressures, and disruptions to their lives and livelihoods.

“Authorities around the world must not only fight Covid-19 but also manage its impact on the mental wellness of their populations,” said Lee.

Protecting mental health takes a collective effort, he said, noting efforts like the National Care Hotline which was set up during the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak here to provide psychological first aid and emotional support.

“Today, on World Mental Health Day, let’s resolve to work together to understand it better, and to care for one another during these difficult times,” said Lee

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