Celebrating World Mental Health Day 2012

Release Date : 29 Sep 2012

Raising community awareness and understanding about mental health

29 September 2012 - Silver Ribbon Singapore (SRS), in partnership with the National Library Board (NLB) is celebrating World Mental Health Day to promote greater community awareness and understanding about mental health conditions. The celebration is launched by Ms Grace Fu, Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for the Environment & Water and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs on 29 September 2012 at the Jurong Regional Library. Since 1983, World Mental Health Day is commemorated annually by more than 100 countries. This effort is supported by Community Health Assessment Team, Institute of Mental Health, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and Singapore Association for Mental Health.

Dr Lee Cheng, President of SRS shares, “Through the events presented, SRS hopes to show that mental health conditions do not hinder people's ability to lead a normal life and that not everyone with mental health conditions is as intense as some movies and dramas suggest.”

Ms Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of NLB says, “By providing a platform on the importance of mental well-being, the National Library Board hopes to raise more awareness of mental wellness and empathy for those with mental conditions.”

This year, with the support of the participating organisations, SRS and NLB kick-off celebrations at Jurong Regional Library through:

· Burst the Silence – a photography project voicing the mental health concerns of young people. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) and British photographer, James Bent of La Mode Outre.

· Stamp out Stigma – an exhibition featuring works of art by the beneficiaries of the Singapore Association of Mental Health. The exhibition is a platform for talented individuals to address self expression and emotional growth through art.

· Beyond the Naked Eye Mobile Art Exhibition - This exhibition is an interactive advocacy platform for library visitors to respond to the thoughts written on wooden panels by individuals with mental health conditions. Library visitors can show their support for them by writing notes of encouragement or illustrating their personal feelings on the wooden panels.

· Picture My World: A Photography Exhibition – For people living with mental health conditions, social inclusion plays a central role in recovery. This exhibition is a result of a two-month long project by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and uses photography as a way for individuals recovering from mental health conditions to voice their feelings.

· World Mental Health Day Quiz 2012 – To encourage readers to understand more about mental health issues in October and five book vouchers worth $100 will be given away. Library visitors can participate by borrowing four books with at least one on mental health and drop the completed quiz form with the loan receipt into the promotion box at any of the 23 public libraries. All winners will be notified by post.

· General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) – Library visitors can also participate in the General Health Questionnaire on 29 September which are held at Jurong Regional Library's programme zone and administered by students in Ngee Ann Polytechnic Diploma in Psychology Studies. The results will be sent to SRS for review where those who are found to be at risk for mental health issues will be offered complimentary counseling service and linked up with relevant mental health services.

In addition, the Mental Health Matters: Handbook for Library Staff is produced to provide guidelines to library staff so that they would understand the importance of mental health, recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, and be able to manage certain situations. 17 librarians and library officers were part of a focus group facilitated by Silver Ribbon (Singapore), to provide inputs for the handbook. 400 handbooks have been distributed to all frontline staff at the public libraries.