Integrated Health Promotion
The Integrated Health Promotion (InHealth) programme focuses on novel strategies to improve health, promote and sustain behaviour change, and prevent the onset and progression of disease amongst the population.
Dr Loke Wai Chiong
Head, Integrated Health Promotion & Clinical Director,
Dr Tan Weng Mooi
Co-Head, Integrated Health Promotion
InHealth aims to contribute to a healthy Singapore, where community norms are shifted and every individual is able to achieve and sustain physical, mental and social well-being. To achieve this, our work is supported by two key pillars: Building Healthy Precincts and Building Mental Wellness.
Building Healthy Precincts
The Healthy Precinct approach is premised on the interplay of 3 main domains – Care and Support, Environment and Community. Within the boundaries of a precinct, It seeks to create an environment and culture that encourages people to achieve and sustain healthy lifestyles. This is underpinned by tools and frameworks for subsequent replication and scaling in order to achieve sustainable transformative impact.
The Healthy Precinct project is focused on forming meaningful partnerships both within communities and across agencies, with an emphasis on synergising top down and bottom up efforts. Deepening our work through various whole-of-government initiatives, we seek to influence change on a broader level, striving to identify hard-to-reach groups in the process. To build Healthy Precincts, we have 3 projects:
a) The Healthy Precinct Framework aims to coordinate, align and guide non-health agencies towards creating desirable health conditions in their scope of work. In April 2021, the Healthy Precinct Index (HPI) version 2 was completed, as a one-stop platform to guide whole-of-government agencies to incorporate health into their respective policies and initiatives. It consolidates evidence-based, quantitative and qualitative strategies and identifies emerging opportunities for further development.
The Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) began with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which were our early pathfinder precincts. HCI aims for NUS and NTU cohorts of 2025 to live healthily for life, by shaping their attitudes, norms and values while they are in campus, with the universities co-developing, testing and measuring the effects of health-promoting initiatives within their campuses.
b) Movements for Health (M4H) aims to catalyse community movements for health through cultivating community members as ground-up activators, who harness the momentum of movements to engender long-term, sustainable health behaviour change.
The M4H model will be piloted across two precincts over a duration of five years. InHealth has completed the landscape assessment of community needs and dynamics, and will next develop tools to facilitate the initiation of health movements. We will begin to document our learnings into a M4H Playbook to enable translation and replication of M4H across precincts.
c) The Healthy Precinct Toolkit aims to empower community leaders to gain a deeper ground sensing of their precinct’s health behaviours and socio-environmental determinants, and enable them to act meaningfully upon these insights. With community ownership, community leaders can use the toolkit to co-design local neighbourhoods and environments to promote healthy living behaviours. In time, InHealth also envisions a ‘Wiki’ tool to bridge the knowledge gaps amongst precinct leaders in the area of community planning and engagement.
Additionally, InHealth is developing a prototype Healthy Precinct Dashboard that gathers and organises different types of healthcare and non-healthcare data, leading to actionable insights for community leaders to use for strategic planning and tracking at precinct-level.
Building Mental Wellness
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided opportunities to accelerate adoption of digital solutions in addressing emerging stress and coping issues faced by the population. In April 2020, InHealth collaborated with the DST team to develop mindline.sg, a one-stop mental health and wellbeing platform that is extensible, and easily accessible by majority of the population. An Advisory and Editorial Board (AEB) consisting of senior representatives from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the NGO sector was put together to guide in the development of this project. Other strategic partners over time included the Health Promotion Board (HPB), Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
mindline.sg is a stress management and coping website designed to destigmatise mental health, increase mental health literacy, and encourage help-seeking for those who need it. It guides users in understanding their stress levels and underlying stressors, and nudges individuals to take proactive steps in improving their emotional wellbeing. The webapp was launched in July 2020, and an AI-based emotionally-intelligent chatbot was added in October 2020.