Dear Partners and Friends,
2020 has been unprecedented, a phrase that's probably used more this year than any other. It's been a full year of never-ending stresses, rapid changes and big life disruptions brought about by COVID-19. Not surprisingly, mental health clinicians and service providers in Singapore have noted more people seeking help for mental health issues amidst the outbreak.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his video message to the World Health Organisation for World Mental Health Day in October 2020, highlighted the importance of ensuring access to quality mental healthcare for every citizen and shared our nation's efforts to raise mental health literacy, promote early interventions and improve mental health services. He said, "Protecting mental health takes a collective effort."
In this issue, we take a look at the efforts of our Central Health partners to keep our community not just physically fit but also mentally fit during this difficult year. St Luke's ElderCare (SLEC) has turned to virtual means as their new way to maintain a sense of 'normalcy' and routine for their elders at home. SLEC also launched a new programme to provide mental health, psychological and social support to both the elders and their caregivers.
Care support groups are pillars of strength to people who share similar experiences and during times where physical meet-ups are not possible, TTSH's Amputee Support Group and Lymphoma Support Group continued to keep their groups active through online befriending and activities. Despite the limitations, hosting activities online have opened up opportunities for the groups to bring in members with weakened immune system to participate in group activities, safely from their homes.
We have a special contribution piece from O'Joy Limited, sharing with us a story of a young life that they have touched through their counselling work. Mental wellness matters to all age groups and backgrounds.
This year's Christmas will be unlike any other as masks, social distancing and COVID-19 remain firmly in our lives. But there are still many ways we can enjoy ourselves and our Central Health Tips this month show us how we can have fun together, apart.
Finally, our virtual CHALK event is coming up soon. Even though we are not able to gather and meet in person, I hope to "see" some of you online. Take a break and practise some mental wellness by attending CHALK.
With what's happening in the world of vaccines and the better implementation of public health measures, we take heart that the pandemic's end is more certain and may be a little nearer. Let's plan for a good healthy year in 2021.
Happy holidays, everyone!
Ms Loh Shu Ching
Division for Central Health,
Tan Tock Seng Hospital & Central Health
Central Health Tips