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Mental Well-being In Focus

NYC conducted a broad-based digital poll in June 2020 to understand:

  • Challenges faced by young people concerning mental well-being, in general, and during the pandemic
  • Youth’s perceptions of the effectiveness of current mental health initiatives in Singapore
  • Knowledge gaps youths have on the topic and the proposed solutions to address these gaps they have identified in the landscape

1,500 youths aged between 16 to 34 years old were surveyed and here’s what we found:

Half of the youth respondents reported that their mental health deteriorated due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Anxiety over future uncertainty and feeling disconnected with friends and partners were cited as the top two reasons for a decline in mental health.

Reducing stigma and normalising help-seeking behaviours

Social stigma (i.e. the fear of being judged) is the top fear youths faced when confiding in someone about their mental health issues. To reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, it is necessary to normalise help-seeking behaviours and to seek help when needed.

Enhancing peer support

While 57% of youths turn to their peers for mental health support, only 69% of youths have taken active steps to help someone they know who has been diagnosed with mental health issues. 31% of youths also did not take active steps to help, with the top reason cited being ‘I am not exactly sure how to help’. 

There is a need to help youths develop peer support skills and establish a supportive environment for themselves and their peers.

Addressing shortfall of support avenues

More than 70% of youths felt that more mental health support at workplaces is needed. Suggestions to boost workplace mental health support include:

  • More awareness and education on how to improve mental well-being at the workplace
  • Having on-site counsellors
  • Adopting workplace practices to ensure work-life balance for employees 

In addition, there is a general lack of awareness and options for professional help that are relevant to youths and easily accessible to them.

Enhancing youths’ emotional resilience was also identified as essential from the Youth Mental Well-being Network – a network where passionate citizens could come forward to participate in the strengthening of youth mental well-being in Singapore.

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