Getting your mind in the right space during the pandemic
COVID-19 has disrupted countless lives – job losses, social isolation and the uncertainty of the pandemic are just a few of the stressors that individuals are inundated with, taking a heavy toll on mental health. How could we empower individuals and communities to manage their own health and improve their wellbeing during this pandemic and beyond?
With 1 in 7 Singaporeans having experienced a mental health issue in their lifetime , mental health has gained traction as an area of health that deserves more attention and support. This has been pushed to the forefront with the unprecedented development of COVID-19. The pandemic has exacerbated economic and social stressors that significantly impact individuals’ mental health, as well as accelerated the adoption of technology, often to replace social contact, in all sectors, including healthcare. How then can technology be harnessed to help individuals cope in the new normal and self-manage their wellbeing?
Jointly developed by MOHT and key players in the healthcare and social space – such as the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) – mindline.sg was conceptualised as a one-stop portal that can support our whole-of-person wellbeing in these unusual times. Its key features include a clinically validated self-assessment tool, which directs users to the most suitable self-help resources based on their emotional needs. It also brings together a wide variety of carefully curated resources, such as support for caregiving, employment, financial needs and managing family conflicts.
Recently, Wysa, an internationally acclaimed, emotionally-intelligent chatbot and its compendium of wellbeing tools and resources, was made available to the whole of Singapore through a partnership with mindline.sg. Available 24/7, the chatbot enables users to share their emotions safely and anonymously without being judged, anywhere and anytime.
mindline.sg empowers people to improve their health and emotional wellbeing
Moving forward, mindline.sg will look to introduce more tools and resources to enable self-management of mental health and wellbeing. A deeper linkage to service providers such as GPs and mental health organisations will also be explored to facilitate seamless referrals for those who need it. Plans also include adapting and customising the platform for specific segments of the population such as school-going children, working population and seniors.
MOHT can play an important role in the mental wellbeing space, through focusing on preventing mental disorders and promoting mental wellness. This involves creating an environment that supports mental health, developing community programmes and services that build resilience, and implementing solutions that shape behaviours of individuals in adopting healthier lifestyles with a focus on self-management and empowerment.
Our vision for the future of the mental wellbeing landscape is one where barriers to access comprehensive and quality services and resources are minimised, and support is available for needs within the community. This can be achieved through collaboration with stakeholders across the wider ecosystem. In future, MOHT will continue to work along these principles to pilot interventions and develop suitable platforms to promote greater mental wellbeing.
The mindline.sg project team