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Improving the Mental Health & Wellbeing of the Community

Design4Impact 2

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Strengthening mental wellbeing in our new normal

The protracted Covid-19 pandemic has created uncertainties in the life of every Singaporean, with many facing anxieties over health,  finances, career, education and relationships. Adjusting to life in the “new normal”, riddled with constantly evolving adaptations has no doubt taken a toll on the mental and emotional health of many. This is especially the case for vulnerable groups that are hard to reach. 

The increase in the prevalence of mental health conditions, affecting a person’s emotional and interpersonal well-being can no longer be ignored. The 2016 Singapore Mental Health Survey found that one in seven Singapore residents suffered from some form of mental health condition in their lifetime. A study commissioned by  The Straits Times in April 2021 found that more than one in three Singaporeans experienced a decline in their mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic. We need fresh and bold approaches to reach each and every one of us in the face of an unprecedented and unrelenting social crisis.

Step up and join us to co-create solutions to help strengthen the mental wellbeing of our community!

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What is Design4Impact?

Design4Impact (D4I) is an open innovation platform that brings together like-minded, public-spirited groups and individuals to address some of the biggest health and social challenges encountered during the Covid-19 pandemic. Design4Impact sets the stage for the design of solutions to mitigate the negative impact faced by vulnerable groups in Singapore, during and beyond the pandemic.

The second edition of D4I will be launched in October 2021.

What Can We Do?

There are three challenge statements for teams to develop innovative ideas and co-create sustainable community-owned solutions.


As part of D4I2 all participants will attend industry-led design thinking workshops with pedagogy and training jointly developed by the NUS Institute of Systems Science (NUS-ISS) and DesignSingapore Council School of X (Dsg SoX); an opportunity to pitch their ideas to attain seed funding; and be guided and championed by sector developers to implement their winning solutions in the community.

D4I2 will see community providers, grassroots organisations, social service agencies, caregivers, residents, public service officers, corporate volunteers and persons with lived experience coming together to co-design implementable and sustainable solutions to help Singaporeans thrive during and beyond Covid-19.

What is Design4Impact?

Design4Impact is brought to you by:

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In support of:

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In partnership with:

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Boon Lay Edition

D4I2 will be based on the needs and capabilities of communities in Boon Lay, one of MOHT’s upcoming Healthy Precinct pilot sites. Pilots from D4I2 can leverage on existing efforts from MOHT’s outreach in Boon Lay, which involve MOHT working closely with community partners to catalyse community movements and strengthen social networks in this region, and a pilot Behavioural Needs Assessment in two zones within Boon Lay which will provide insights into the social environmental determinants of Boon Lay residents.

Whilst D4I2 would benefit from the existing networks, relationship and infrastructural support fostered in Boon Lay, we welcome ideas and initiatives that could be piloted in other areas of Singapore. You may work with your team facilitators to explore these options.

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Design4Impact Webinar Series

Before the launch of D4I2, you can look forward to two webinars that will provide valuable insights into the mental health landscape based on the three challenge statements. The webinars will convene panelists who will expound on current mental health-related issues faced by various groups within the community: seniors, caregivers and youths. Persons with lived experience will also share their perspectives on the mental health landscape, articulating their aspirations and hopes on what could be done.


The pre-event webinars, slated to be held on 15 and 16 September, will give interested participants an opportunity to learn more about the mental health landscape and make an informed decision on which challenge statement to adopt.


Rewatch our webinars (via YouTube)

Design4Impact Webinar Series

Challenge Statements

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With physical distancing as a necessary measure to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, social isolation is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue for our seniors. This is especially so for seniors who may not know how to adopt technologies to maintain their social connections in a digital space, and who are living alone. With little means of maintaining their social ties, seniors may be at risk of having little social support to get them through trying times. Disruptions from Covid-19 may have also led to heightened fear, anxiety and a sense of helplessness among seniors.


With this, how might we develop solutions to better support our seniors’ mental health needs? 

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Caregivers take on the responsibility of looking after someone who is unable to care for himself or herself fully due to illness, frailty, disability or a mental health condition. With uncertainty surrounding economic conditions and livelihoods, as well as the disruptions to care services and social activities, caregiving has become even more challenging during this period of time.


How might we enable caregivers to improve their mental health and wellbeing?

Pressure to do well in studies, an unabated pandemic climate and an unstable job market may cause mental distress for students and young working professionals. With the future looking uncertain, mental health and wellbeing could take a hit and depressive symptoms or anxious thoughts can seep in more easily.


How might we increase the accessibility for youths to get mental health support early?

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Challenge Statements

Join us for a comprehensive, immersive learning experience

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Participants will undergo five stages of learning as part of the D4I2 experience (one per week). 

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Phase 1


Research and immerse in the needs and challenges of our users.

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Design4Impact Webinar Series

15 & 16 
Sep 2021

Potential participants can look forward to hearing from health experts, persons with lived experience, community activators, and champions of mental health on needs, trends and on mental health issues for seniors, caregivers and youths.

Registration for D4I2

Until 23 Sep

We welcome interested parties from Public and Private Sectors (community partners, social service agencies, grassroots leaders and public officers) and citizens to sign up for D4I2.

Application Outcome

29 Sep

Participants will be notified if they have been selected for D4I2. 

Team Ice-Breaker and Collaboration Platform Tutorial

4-6 Oct

Meet your Design4Impact teammates!

Learn how to use Miro, an online collaboration platform

Take note of key event dates and details

(exact date and time to be scheduled with facilitator and buddy)

Plenary 1: Starting our Design4Impact Journey



Official launch of Design4Impact 2

Introduction to Design Challenges

Brief on event format and key dates

Introduction to Design Thinking

Team Session 1: Starting our Design4Impact Journey

7-13 Oct

Scope initial challenge (s), user(s) and impact(s)

Level set team's understanding of their challenge topic

Engaging Content Resource Personnel

Planning and conducting desk research

(exact date and time to be scheduled with facilitator and buddy)

Plenary 2: Understanding the Needs of our Users

14 Oct

Introduction to Empathy phase of Design Thinking

Understand the importance and how to conduct field ethnographic research

Team Session 2: Understanding the Needs of our Users

14-20 Oct

Stakeholder Mapping

Planning and conducting field research

Team to share and discuss research findings and cluster into themes

(exact date and time to be scheduled with facilitator and buddy)

Plenary 3: Synthesize insights and refine challenge

21 Oct

Introduction to Define phase of Design Thinking

Synthesize insights using design approaches and tools

How to frame and re-frame a design challenge

Team Session 3: Synthesize insights and refine challenge

21-27 Oct

Clustering research findings

Creating personas and journey maps

Crafting a 'how might we?' question

(exact date and time to be scheduled with facilitator and buddy)

Plenary 4: Designing and Testing our Solution

28 Oct

Introduction to Ideation and Prototype phases of Design Thinking

Introduction to prototyping methods and resources

Tips on how to conduct user testing

Team Session 4: Generating Ideas and Concepts

28 Oct - 3 Nov

Ideation workshop conducted by the Facilitator

Selecting and prioritising concepts to be prototyped

Discuss how to prototype the chosen solution

(exact date and time to be scheduled with facilitator and buddy)

Team Session 5: Testing Prototypes with Users

Nov - 10 Nov

Team to review prototype with the Facilitator

Discuss how to conduct user testing

Conduct user testing, collate feedback for solution iteration

(exact date and time to be scheduled with facilitator and buddy)

Plenary 5: Viability of Solution & Pitching

11 Nov

How to define and communicate a solution's value proposition

Introduction to design tools that help create viable solutions

Tips on how to pitch your ideas to an evaluation panel

Team Session 6: Viability of Solution & Pitching

11 Nov - 19 Nov

Define solution value proposition

Completing a Business Model Canvas (optional)

Creating a solution poster

*Top 9 teams with the best solution poster will be selected to participate in the Design4Impact Pitch Event

(exact date and time to be scheduled with facilitator and buddy)

Pitch Event

3 Dec 2021

The top team from each challenge will receive seed funding to implement their pilot

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What can participants look forward to?

The social spirited innovator in each of us can look forward to:

  • Design4Impact Webinar Series – A two-part webinar series to gain valuable insights from our panelists and find out how you can play a role in co-creating solutions to these challenges

  • Implementable Solutions – An opportunity to develop implementable solutions, supported by government agencies and partners for immediate rollout, to benefit fellow Singaporeans​

  • Capacity Building – A comprehensive and immersive programme comprising industry-leading, mentoring and coaching sessions to develop your concept and adapt it for scaling​

  • Networking Opportunities – Access to government organisations, grassroots, community partners, private sector partners, skilled practitioners in health, social care and design​

  • Implementation Funding – Top 3 ideas selected by our judges will qualify for a seed funding of S$12,000 from NCSS and Prudential Singapore to be used for piloting of prototypes.

  • Strategic Partnerships – Co-create solutions with community networks and relevant stakeholders that enhance health and social impact 

  • Community of Practice – Participants will have post-training support with links to resources and networks in the community & the opportunity to be part of an ever growing group of D4I alumni

Judging Criteria

Solution Fit

To what extent does the proposed solution address the problem statement and end user needs effectively?

Feasibility / Scalability

How easy will it be to develop and implement a working model of this solution?

Application of Design Thinking Principles

How well has the team used DT principles (empathy, define, ideate, prototype, test) to inform their solution?

Pitch & Presentation

How has the team articulated their proposal and engaged the audience?


How well does the solution present new concepts or approaches to tackle the design challenge?

Judging Criteria


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Top three ideas selected by our judges will qualify for an implementation funding of S$12,000 each to be used for piloting of prototypes. 

Thereafter, there is also potential for teams to obtain more funds and work with relevant stakeholders to implement and scale your projects.


Seed grant awardees will be required to sign a funding agreement with MOHT and NCSS. More details on the funding agreement will be shared with the winning teams after D4I2.

Participants' Roles

We need your help to: 

  • Use your unique expertise to contribute to solving community issues

  • Use your imagination to reimagine new futures to create a better world

  • Contribute to the public good

What you will get to do:

  • Rally your community to actively ideate solutions to community challenges

  • Work with people from different backgrounds

  • Learn and practice design thinking in a real-world context

  • Ideate & co-develop solutions that could influence practice and policies 

  • Do good & contribute in a meaningful manner

Be prepared to:

  • Attend workshops weekly during the challenge

  • Engage in self-directed (outside of scheduled seminars) development of your idea with teammates and mentor(s)


How could I contribute, but not as a participant?

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You don't have to be a participant to partner with us! We are looking for: 

  • Users who are keen to test out and provide feedback on the participants' prototypes.

  • Content resource personnel from community providers, grassroots organisations, Social Service Agencies and other partners who can provide knowledge and insights on the challenges and problem statements to the participants.

  • Sponsors who would like to support our operational costs.

  • Implementation partners who are keen to come onboard to implement the pilot prototypes, together with the winning teams.

Email [email protected] and we will be in touch!

Check out previous pilots from D4I 2020

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Recreating the social media experience for seniors with an inclusive, community driven way to manage their chronic disease

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Silver Buddy

A post-discharge buddy initiative with an accompanying Buddy Aide app that matches volunteers to befriend seniors who live alone.

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BvB Bingo

Using gamification to galvanise residents, their families and their neighbours to pick up healthy habits and health-seeking behaviours.

Previous pilots from D4I 2020
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