Making mental healthcare accessible to Singapore’s mid/low-income groups

November 17, 2021
Making mental healthcare accessible to Singapore’s mid/low-income groups

With the pandemic having taken a toll on overall mental health, 9 out of 10 Singaporeans have reported a decline in their mental well-being, with those heavily affected being in the middle to lower income households, especially those that do not have much access to affordable mental healthcare. There is also a stigma attached to seeking help, given the societal pressures.

Thus, Asia’s fastest growing mental health startup, Intellect, and non-profit organisation, Care Corner Singapore, have partnered to provide end-to-end mental healthcare solutions, particularly to middle and low-income communities in Singapore. From now till 31 May 2022, Care Corner’s clients and partners including teachers, parents, young adults, employees and members of the public – will have a complimentary six-month premium subscription to Intellect’s self-care app and resources.

The partnership complements Care Corner’s existing one-on-one mental health counselling services by providing an array of in-app modules and programs such as learning paths, rescue sessions, well-being check-in, and analytics, as well as guided journaling. The modules and programs cover a wide spectrum of topics such as mental health aid 101, anxiety, worry, assertiveness and self-esteem, relevant to the needs of Care Corner’s clients. This offers a much-needed continuity for users in their journey of self-growth in between and beyond counselling sessions.

Beneficiaries will also get access to Intellect’s monthly webinar series, Intellearn, which focuses on conversations to raise awareness regarding mental well-being and provides tips and tricks for self-care. The services will be further promoted among Care Corner’s social service agencies network.

Sharing his thoughts on the partnership, Theodoric Chew, CEO/Co-founder, Intellect said, “Democratising mental healthcare has always been Intellect’s mission and our partnership with Care Corner allows us to broaden access for the care to all, regardless of background.”

According to KPMG, 90% of people living with major depressive disorder in Asia Pacific do not seek help. This can be attributed to many economic and social factors, such as the high cost of consulting with therapists or psychologists, a shortage in the supply of mental health practitioners and the social stigma around such conversations. These challenges deter individuals from seeking help, ultimately leading to bigger issues. In Singapore alone, suicide rates recently broke an eight-year high record.

Further to providing access to a full suite of mental healthcare resources to users, Intellect will also be conducting online workshops for Care Corner’s clients to help them familiarise with the app’s features and to guide them on how to integrate the learning paths and rescue sessions in their personal lives.

Commenting on the partnership, Joseph Eio, Deputy Director of Mental Health and Counselling Services, Care Corner said, “Mental well-being took on a new sense of urgency amid the pandemic. We saw a rise in clients seeking counselling, relating their struggles in coping with adjustments at home and work, as well as their concerns surrounding uncertainties around Covid-19.”

He added, “From April to October 2021, we conducted 50% more counselling sessions compared to the same period last year. There was also a 15% increase in callers to our toll-free Mandarin hotline in the last few months. We are pleased to collaborate with Intellect to extend our mission of bringing care across Singapore. The partnership complements our counselling services, offering clients from all backgrounds, ongoing support in their mental health journey.”

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