Social Media Advocacy #1: A collection of Mental Health resources
Ground-up initiatives leveraging on social media to educate and advocate for social causes that they care deeply for has been on the rise. These groups use social media to spread awareness on key issues and to spur conversations on these topics. With the ability that social media has to effectively engage audiences, it will continue to be an essential tool for advocacy groups to get their message across to a broader audience.
In this article, we dive into mental health advocacy groups that provide support and information through various mediums:
2. Podcasts, Videos & Books,
4. Hotlines and services
We hope that our efforts to consolidate mental health advocacy groups serves as a resource for you to better understand the mental health landscape in Singapore. If you find this useful, please share this with your friends too!
1. Instagram accounts on mental health
Conversations about mental health have been increasing in past years, especially among youths. Many groups have started Instagram pages to spread more information on mental health, as well as well-being tips. Here are some pages you could follow to learn more about mental health!
@calmcollectiveasia was started in April 2020 while the Circuit Breaker was first imposed on Singapore. It has some of the cutest posts on well-being we’ve ever seen! The simplistic and beautiful graphics provide quotes on positive well-being as motivation to keep going throughout the day. They also hold regular Zoom talks on mental well-being with various guests from practising psychologists to celebrities and CEOs. For tips to uplift yourself, do follow this IG page!
Silent Conditions was started in 2019 and their aim is to spread the importance of mental health and provide mental health literacy to their audience. Their content focuses on the intersection of mental health with other topics such as youth mental health, parenting mental health, LGBTQ+ mental health and many more. This helps to shed light on how mental health is embedded in our everyday lives. They also share clinical facts and statistics!
@mentalhealthceo was started by Ron Yap, a communications student. Being a Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Chronic Anxiety Survivor, he realised the power of social media to spread awareness on mental well-being. His page contains plenty of infographics and Twitter posts to the general public on how to interact with potential mental health clients, bringing his personal perspective as a survivor on how to say the right things to help without causing unintentional hurt. Certain words have various nuances to them, so using appropriate words when dealing with fragile situations will really make a difference. He also includes several incredible infographics with general information on several mental health conditions that are easy to read and are relatable! If you want to step into the shoes of a person who has been through mental health conditions, do check out his IG page!
@reboundwithresilience was started in 2018 by Kevin Wee to publicise his podcasts on mental health, featuring great snippets from his many conversations with distinguished guests. The page includes stories from people of all walks of life who share their struggles dealing with mentally challenging times. The snippets that he provides from his podcast are wide-ranging, from self care habits, to problems that students face in school, to how to cope with the loss of closed ones. For the broadest range of professionals and perspectives on mental health, there is no better place to hear from than this page!
@hello.sync was started in April 2020 and features stunning posts on various mental health topics such as depression, eating disorders and substance abuse. Their “dear youth” series features short posts from various youths on their own experiences facing mental health conditions or seeing others face similar conditions. This is truly an all-in-one page for well-being tips and facts on mental health conditions that you may not be able to find anywhere else, so do follow this IG page!
1.6 Mental. health .collective
@mentalhealthcollective was started in late 2020 by a group of youths passionate about bringing awareness to the various mental health causes in Singapore. They feature posts about various non-governmental organisations and their efforts in raising awareness about mental health conditions. They also feature awesome graphics on a range of difficult situations that we may face in life and how we should deal with them on a general basis. They have developed a mini-documentary series on Instagram titled Cookie Conversations where they interview those who have started their own mental health organisations! To get a better view of organisations related to mental health conditions, follow this IG page!
@yourheadlah not only aims to look at the individual experience of mental illness but also how our positionality in bigger power structures affects our mental health. We want to stay cognizant of the differences in our contexts, our privilege, our conditions and the ways in which our conditions manifest.
Bonus: A practical guide to seeking help in Singapore
2. Podcasts, videos and books about mental health
2.1 Intro to Mental Health by SG Explained
This is an introductory episode to the structure and statistics of how mental health is approached in Singapore, greatly supported by their guest Dr. Pearlene Ng who is a Senior Clinical Psychologist. They also have an open conversation in this episode where Elliot and Rovik share their own personal stories on mental health in the hope to encourage others to do the same in their own spaces. Find out more here.
2.2 Speaking your mind
Speaking your mind is a book which compiles a total of 17 stories from individuals, caregivers, advocates and professionals who work closely in the field of mental health.
2.3 Strangers in my head
Strangers In My Head is a 4-part documentary series that journals the perspective of each individual as they reveal the layers of their relationship with mental health issues and what being ‘normal’ means to them.
2.4 The Local Rebel
The Local Rebel issue 3 focuses on the Self and takes a look at our personal well-being; patterns and/or behaviours that used to help us survive before but weigh us down now; the invisible battles we fight within ourselves; understanding why we react the way we do. Overall, this zine hopes to show how we can listen to ourselves better. How can we treat ourselves with kindness? How do we tend to our bodies, in a world that continually demands more from us?
2.5 White Book Singapore
The White Book brings together insights from individuals and communities to explore public narratives and share collective frameworks to unpack our current understanding of mental health.
They also have a resource library here.
3. Trainings: Mental health and wellness related
3.1 Resilience Collective
Resilience Collective runs a series of 6 modular workshops, largely for peers with the lived experience of a mental health condition. The curriculum was co-produced with peers and other professionals, with each module focused on supporting the peer through a different stage of their recovery journey, helping them find their coping mechanisms and strategies on a personal level. Their workshops are led by peer facilitators with Peer Support Specialists from Resilience Collective.
3.2 Samaritans of Singapore
Gatekeepers Intervention Skills Workshop (GISW) workshop — 1day, $300/pax
Gatekeepers play an important role in suicide prevention as they are usually the first to come in contact with those who may be at risk of suicide. It is essential for them to be able to identify these at-risk individuals and direct them to the appropriate resources in a timely and professional manner.
Sound of Listening workshop — 1 day + 1hr 5mins, $350/pax
Practical skills you can use when talking to literally anyone.
Things You Need to Know About Suicide talk — 1hr 15mins, cost upon enquiry
Gain basic skills and knowledge on the topic of suicide in Singapore. Topics covered include suicide warning signs, risk factors, facts and myths, and the resources available to those in crisis, thinking of suicide or affected by suicide.
3.3 Singapore Red Cross Society
Community Based Psychosocial Support — 3 days training, $320
4. Hotlines and organizations to reach out to
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and not listed in any particular order.
4.1 Twinkle Friend
Twinkle Friend provides support, advice, and information to lonely and distressed primary-school-aged children 7 to 12 years old, especially in situations when their parents or main caregivers are unavailable.
Twinkle Friend Helpline: 1800 2744 788 (Mon-Fri, 2.30pm-5pm)
4.2 Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)
SOS is dedicated to providing confidential emotional support to individuals facing a crisis, thinking about or affected by suicide.
24 hours helpline: 1800–221–4444
4.3 Silver Ribbon Singapore (SRS)
Silver Ribbon combats mental health stigma, encourage early help, and facilitate integration of people with mental illness within the society through innovative means of promoting mental health literacy. They provide complementary counselling services.
Contact and Operating Hours: 6386 1928 (Mon-Fri, 9 am — 5 pm)
4.4 Limitless Singapore
Limitless is a non-profit organization founded with the desire to see every youth given the opportunity to live out their potential. They offer helpline support through phone, through text, or Whatsapp. They also provide free and paid subsidised counselling to address issues of relationships, trauma, mental health, self-image and behavioural challenges.
4.5 Institute of Mental Health (IMH)
IMH offers psychiatric, rehabilitative and counselling services in both hospital and community-based settings to meet the needs of three groups of people — children and adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
24 hours mental health helpline: 6389–2222
24 hours main enquiry line: 6389 2000
4.6 Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
SAMH seeks to improve the lives of persons with mental illness and provide support for their families, to promote acceptance and respect for persons with mental illness and to improve the mental resilience of our community.
Contact and Operating Hours: 1800–283–7019 (Toll-free helpline, Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm)
4.7 National Care Hotline
You can call the National Care Hotline If you need someone to talk to about the issues that weigh you down, such as COVID-19 and its impact on your personal and family lives, on your jobs and livelihoods, and your future.
24 hours hotline: 1800–202–6868
4.8 Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT)
CHAT is a national outreach and mental health check programme under the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). CHAT provides a personalized and confidential mental health check and various mental health resources.
Contact & Operating hours: 6493 6500/6493 6501 (Tues-Sat, 12pm-9pm)
4.9 Clarity Singapore
Clarity Singapore is a Catholic charity that provides services to persons with mental health conditions living meaningful lives through support, therapy, acceptance and recovery.
Contact & Operating hours: 6757 7990 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm)
Oogachaga is a community-based, non-profit, professional organisation working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals, couples and families in Singapore since 1999.
Whatsapp Counselling: 8592 0609, Tue, Wed, Thu: 7pm-10pm; Sat: 2pm-5pm
Email Counselling: CARE@oogachaga.com
Telephone counselling: 6226 2002/ 6226 6629 (Temporary suspended)
Enquiries: 6224 9373, admin calls only (Mon- Fri, 10am-7pm)
4.11 Club Heal
Club HEAL (Hope, Empowerment, Acceptance & Love) aims to assist and empower persons with mental health issues to regain confidence in themselves and others in their journey towards community reintegration.
Contact & Operating hours: 6899 3463 (Mon-Fri, 9am — 5pm)
4.12 Caregivers Alliance Limited
Caregivers Alliance Limited is a professional non-profit organisation in Singapore dedicated to meeting the needs of caregivers of persons with mental health issues through education, support networks, crisis support, tailored services and self-care enablement.
Contact & Operating hours: 6460 4400 ( Mon-Fri, 9 am — 6 pm)
4.13 Mental Health Issues: Subsidies Available And How To Navigate Through The Financial Costs by Seedly
Do share in the comments section if you know of any other resources (books, websites, social media, etc) advocating for mental well being in Singapore! Together, we can build a healthier and happier society for all:)
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This article from the OpenJio Team was written by Eugene and Amos, with contributions from Hilda and Amelia.