Parliamentary Replies

March 19, 2018

Student mental health

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Miss Cheng Li Hui, Tampines GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) what is the number of students who suffer from depression and other mental conditions over the last five years; (b) what are the main causes for such cases; and (c) what resources are channelled towards identifying and watching out for the at-risk students.

Response

1. The number of students suffering from depression or other types of mental health conditions is difficult to determine as students and parents may choose not to disclose the student’s condition for a variety of reasons. Some remain undiagnosed due to a lack of awareness of the mental health condition or fear of stigmatization.

2. Mental health problems among students, including depression, are often the result of multiple factors. They include relationship issues at home or among friends, difficulties in coping with overly high expectations or different demands in school, experiencing setbacks in life or having a family history of mental illness.

3. MOE has been working with agencies such as Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Board, Institute of Mental Health and Ministry for Social and Family Development to provide support for our students. Schools monitor the socio-emotional and mental well-being of students, primarily focusing on social and emotional learning and building strong support networks. Our teachers are equipped to identify students in distress, provide timely support and refer them to the school counsellors for counselling support. Those requiring further assessment and intervention will be referred to medical professionals.