Students seeking psychological help from school counsellors

Published Date: 13 September 2021 06:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Christopher de Souza, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) what plans are in place to reduce the stigma against students seeking psychological help from school counsellors; and (b) whether there are anonymous ways for students to reach out.

Response

1. The Ministry of Education (MOE) and our schools have a multi-pronged approach to reduce the stigma for students seeking help from School Counsellors.

2. Firstly, mental health education is featured strongly in the refreshed Character and Citizenship Education curriculum. Topics include understanding common mental health issues and symptoms, knowing when and how to seek help for self and others, destigmatizing help seeking, and developing empathy towards people struggling with mental health issues and conditions.

3. Secondly, the counselling room provides a private, quiet and safe place for students to share in confidence. To help students feel more comfortable with talking to School Counsellors, they engage students beyond the counselling room. School Counsellors proactively reach out to students during morning assembly and recess time to interact with students. They also conduct school-wide or class-based talks to raise awareness of mental health issues and encourage seeking help from trusted adults. School Counsellors also engage parents during the schools' briefing sessions for parents on supporting their children's well-being.

4. Thirdly, for students who prefer anonymity and support outside of the school setting, there are local online portals (e.g. Tinkle Friend, eC2, SOS) available. Students are informed of these portals and encouraged to access them if needed. For those who prefer face-to-face support, they can seek help from family service centres or private counselling centres with parental consent if they are below 21 years of age.

Share this article: