Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay among landmarks to be lit in blue for World Mental Health Day

SINGAPORE – More than 20 Singapore landmarks will be lit up in blue in October to promote mental health awareness as part of World Mental Health Day which falls on Oct 10.

Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and St Andrew’s Cathedral are among the landmarks that will be lit up from Oct 10 to 31.

Healthcare institutions like Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), as well as educational institutions like Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University will also be lit up in blue.

In a joint release on Friday (Oct 1), the Agency for Integrated Care and IMH said: “By lighting up collectively in blue, we hope to shine a light on mental health issues and encourage those who are feeling blue to open up and have a conversation about their challenges.”

World Mental Health Day this year is themed “It’s Okay – Take 5”, a note of encouragement for the public to learn the importance of caring for their mental health and well-being, and to seek help if they face issues coping.

In a Facebook post on Friday (Oct 1), President Halimah Yacob noted how the pandemic has been a challenging period for many, in particular young people.

“The cross-cutting nature of mental health issues also means that we need a whole-of-nation approach. Beyond the Government, there is scope for the community to play a larger role in the continuum of care for persons with mental health conditions,” she said.

Madam Halimah added that she hoped to provide more support to the social sector to enable organisations to amplify mental health efforts led by the Government.

More than 20 government agencies are offering virtual workshops, webinars and activities focused on mental health this month. These include webinars on helping youth manage stress and workshops on using the five senses to improve mental health, with activities catering to different age groups in different languages.

Dr Daniel Fung, the chief executive of IMH, said he hopes that the visual reminder of the light-up and the activities lined up for World Mental Health Day will create awareness of mental health and the need to seek help, as well as “promote participation from all levels of society to make it easier for persons in need to get the appropriate support”.

Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary noted the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on individuals and the need for care and support within the community.

” (The campaign) will build awareness and understanding of mental well-being and encourage Singaporeans to seek help when they encounter mental health challenges. We hope it will also encourage all Singaporeans to reach out and help one another,” he said on Friday.

Dr Janil, who also chairs the Interagency Taskforce on Mental Health, said that the Health Promotion Board will provide Singaporeans with a one-stop portal next month, offering tools, resources and information to help them better care for their mental well-being.

“With all this, we can all play a part to develop a stronger mental health ecosystem in Singapore,” he added.

More on this topic

Helplines

• National Care Hotline:
1800-202-6868 (8am – 12am)

Mental well-being

• 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

• Silver Ribbon Singapore:
6386-1928

• Tinkle Friend:
1800-274-4788 and www.tinklefriend.sg

• Community Health Assessment Team:
6493-6500/1 and www.chat.mentalhealth.sg

Counselling

• TOUCHline (Counselling):
1800-377-2252

• TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers):
6804-6555

• Care Corner Counselling Centre:
1800-353-5800

Online resources

• mindline.sg

• My Mental Health

• Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service

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