Parliamentary Replies

August 05, 2019

Mental health education

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Anthea Ong, Nominated Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) what is the Ministry's strategic plan for mental health education and its de-stigmatisation; (b) whether the Ministry has considered re-framing physical health education to total health education that includes mental and emotional health; (c) whether feedback on the mental and emotional health of students are regularly collated and parents informed accordingly; (d) whether co-curricular programmes are recommended to schools to normalise mental health and improve help-seeking behaviours and, if so, what are these programmes; and (e) whether the Ministry will consider partnering external organisations to provide training and support to students' families.

Response

1. MOE adopts a holistic approach to supporting student well-being, covering physical health, social and emotional development and psychological support when necessary.

2. We strengthen students’ mental health through lessons on Character and Citizenship, Form Teacher Guidance Period and Physical Education. We build character in students through experiential learning platforms such as Co-Curricular Activities, Values-in-Action programme and outdoor education.

3. Our schools teach students social and emotional competencies such as relationship management, stress management and help-seeking skills, which are then put into practice when students engage in various school activities. The curriculum was enhanced recently to raise greater awareness of common mental illnesses, normalise help-seeking behaviour, reduce stigmatisation, and promote peer support.

4. Teachers monitor the well-being of students and work closely with parents and school counsellors to render additional support to those who need it. Schools also work with partners such as the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), mental health professionals and Family Service Centres to support students and their families within the community.