At the inauguration of a new one-stop facility for children with mental health and development issues on Monday, an expert from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) told that there are about 50,000 children in Singapore, who have been suffering from mental health problems and 5,000 cases of children are such who are in dire need of psychiatric care.
One in ten children aged between 6 and 16 years is affected with mental health problems, as stated by the expert.
The one-stop facility has been opened at St Andrew's Community Hospital in Simei. It is a joint effort of the IMH, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, and research agency A*STAR. Here, the children with mental health problems will have access to paediatrics, psychiatry and neuroscience experts under one roof.
Daniel Fung, Associate Professor and Director of IMH's Response, Early Intervention and Assessment in Community Health (REACH) Programme stated that the mental health facility would cater to all the age groups from preschool to junior college and would also deal with different sectors such as health, education and social services. He also urged parents not to ignore even the slight mental anxiety-related issues in their children and seek immediate help.
"The mental health numbers in Singapore are similar to developed countries with modern cultural and economic demands - where families spend less time on their children", said Professor Michael Meaney, Senior Investigator & Associate Director of the Growth Development & Metabolism Programme, A*STAR.