Social service agencies will get more support to help young people with mental health issues

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SINGAPORE: A new program was launched on Tuesday March 15 to strengthen community support for young people with mental health problems.

Under the President’s Challenge-Institute of Mental Health (IMH) program, four social service agencies will be trained by IMH to handle these cases.

“As an expert in the field, IMH will organize and deliver a set of common trainings to the four SSAs (Social Service Agencies) to equip them with the necessary skills to handle youth cases referred by IMH,” said said the president’s office in a press release. .

“Care for these young people will be well located within the community, so they can receive essential secondary interventions and psychosocial support closer to home.”

Launching the program on Tuesday, President Halimah Yacob said there are currently “very few” youth-focused community mental health services.

“By taking this stepped care approach, we can ensure that the mental health needs of these young people are well managed while they stay home to recover,” she said.

The program will serve young people with mental health issues between the ages of 13 and 19 who have sought help at the IMH emergency room but have not been admitted although they may still need help. community support. It will also support young people who have left the psychiatric service or who received follow-up in specialized clinics.

Ms. Halimah noted that these groups of young people – whose needs are not severe enough to be admitted and those who require care after discharge from IMH – are people who need more help from the current system.

“More can be done to build a community of care by equipping social service agencies with the capacity to provide baseline assessment and timely interventions to these young people,” said Mdm Halimah.

The President’s Challenge-IMH program will serve as an “important bridge” between hospitalization and home care for young people with mental health issues, she added.

The four social service agencies on board the program are Club HEAL, Mental Health Association of Singapore, Children’s Society of Singapore and TOUCH Community Services.

In addition to providing training, IMH will also hold regular case conferences with social service agencies and have case managers function as a single point of contact to ensure a smooth transition of care, said the president’s office.

“Recovering from a mental health issue is often daunting for our young people, but if they have a social service partner with them, they can be more assured of a good recovery,” said Associate Professor Lee. Cheng, clinical director at the IMH office. Population health.

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