Connect with us


1 in 4 youths contemplated self-harm, 1 in 2 Singaporeans struggle with daily stress, Ipsos survey reveals

Ipsos’ recent survey paints a worrisome picture of Singaporeans’ mental health.

Over half the participants grappled with stress that disrupted their daily routines. Shockingly, 1 in 4 individuals under 35 contemplated self-harm or suicide, revealing a pressing need for mental health support.



SINGAPORE: A survey by Ipsos, a research and analytics firm, unveils deeply concerning statistics regarding the mental well-being of Singaporeans in its Ipsos World Mental Health Day 2023 Report published on Oct 9.

The survey was done across 31 countries to explore changes in how people felt about their own mental health and the factors affecting their mental well-being.

World Mental Health Day falls on Oct 10.

More than half of the respondents reported experiencing stress in the past year, which significantly impacted their daily lives.

Shockingly, one in four young adults under the age of 35 admitted to having seriously considered self-harm or suicide at least once.

Survey reveals alarming mental health concerns among Singaporeans

The survey, conducted online over two weeks with approximately 1,000 Singaporeans aged 21 to 74, highlights the acute mental health challenges faced by the nation.

It found that nearly two in five people had to take time off work due to stress in the past year, and these cases weren’t isolated incidents.

Mental health emerged as a predominant concern for Singaporeans, with close to half of respondents regarding it as one of the country’s most significant health issues (46%) even ahead of cancer (38%) in 2023.

Top health problems facing Singapore as perceived by Singaporeans. (Photo: Ipsos World Mental Health Day 2023 Report)

Daily despair grips nearly half of Singapore’s population

Majority (78%) also believed that mental health is as important as physical health, just over half (54%) felt that Singapore’s healthcare system treated both equally, showing an improvement from 43% in 2021.

The survey uncovered various concerning trends, including a substantial portion of respondents who had felt stressed to the point where it affected their daily lives (24%) and to the point where they felt like they could not cope or deal with things (23%).

Thirty-nine per cent had to take time off work due to stress in the previous year, and 15% needed to do so repeatedly.

Close to half of Singaporeans, amounting to 49%, reported experiencing feelings of sadness and hopelessness almost daily for weeks at a stretch, with 20% indicating this happened repeatedly during the past year.

Additionally, 27% of respondents admitted to having seriously contemplated suicide or self-harm at least once in the last year.

Among those under 35, 26% had considered it once, and 10% of Singaporeans disclosed multiple instances of such thoughts within the past year.

Results from survey questions regarding mental health. (Photo: Ipsos World Mental Health Day 2023 Report)

Concerns raised over mental health of young adults in Singapore, call for greater commitment to preventative care

Dr Timothy Singham, a clinical psychologist with Viriya Community Services expressed deep concern, particularly about the mental health of young adults, saying that some of the survey’s findings were “extremely worrying.”

He emphasized the need for mental health services to better understand and address the stressors affecting this age group.

In a similar vein, Melanie Ng, director of public affairs for Ipsos in Singapore, stressed the importance of increased commitment from employers, governmental bodies, and communities to enhance preventative mental health care, especially given the persistently high levels of stress.

“Singaporeans believe that mental health is as important as their physical health, but they feel that the country’s healthcare system does not reflect that equal importance and needs to do more to catch up,” she said.

The survey also revealed a higher awareness of mental well-being among younger age groups.

Data from 31 countries, including Singapore, indicated that younger people were more likely to think about their mental health compared to their older counterparts.

Approximately 44% of Singaporeans admitted to seldom or never focusing on their mental well-being.

Melanie Ng stated, “Quite a considerable population of Singaporeans admit to seldom or never focusing on their mental well-being, a tendency that may be attributed to the high-stress, relentless rhythm of life in Singapore.

“Nonetheless, it is indisputable that employers, governmental bodies, and communities must heighten their commitment towards enhancing preventative mental health care,” she added.

Strategy to tackle youth mental health challenges

In response to these concerning findings, the Singaporean government recently launched the National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy, aimed at strengthening the country’s mental health ecosystem.

The strategy includes the establishment of a specialized care facility for at-risk youth and a toolkit to empower parents with knowledge and skills to support their children’s mental well-being.

It also seeks to combat stigma around mental health conditions and promote emotional development in preschools.

The need for such initiatives is underscored by a recent report concerning 476 cases of suicide last year, marking the highest number in over two decades.

Furthermore, a social service agency, TOUCH Community Services, is also working to empower young people to support their peers.

Students are trained as peer support leaders in their schools, equipped with essential skills to help their friends in need.

The organization conducts sessions on emotional regulation skills and provides a helpline for the general public, staffed by social workers and counsellors.

These efforts are vital in addressing the pressing mental health challenges facing Singapore’s population.

Calls for volunteers as Singapore grapples with rising suicide cases

In light of the increasing occurrences of suicide and depression, social service organizations are also making appeals for additional volunteers.

The Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), a non-profit organization dedicated to suicide prevention, reported a substantial increase of 25.9% in suicide figures compared to the previous year, with a significant rise observed among both young people and the elderly.

SOS identified family issues, employment and financial hardships, and romantic relationship challenges as the most frequently encountered problems by individuals reaching out to their services.

They experienced a surge in demand, with 57,000 phone calls for assistance, a 7% increase from the previous year, and their CareText 24-hour messaging service via WhatsApp received 22,000 text messages, more than double the previous year.

As the need for support continues to grow, these organizations are urgently seeking volunteers who can be trained as first responders.

These volunteers may include friends, family members, or even bystanders and will play a pivotal role in offering early assistance to individuals facing emotional crises.

Ms Charlene Heng, Deputy Director of SOS’ training and development, emphasized the need for community involvement, stating that “suicide is everybody’s business.”

“We hope to equip anyone – really literally anyone – with the first responder’s skill so that anyone on the street can be a touchpoint to anyone going through emotional crisis, so that they may not (head to the point of suicide),” she said.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Million Dollars Salary Monster of Youth OUGHT to be FIRED, ALL HIS SALARIES CLAWED back. Dismantle his USELESS outfit.

One can do well to recall, official political stance, Sheeps lack spurs. What do ya think?

The NLB Campaign, as I deduced as an attempt to contra info, news deemed national fakes. Here’s a Boomerang-esque – Are You Sure, Ipsos survey,
anything concealed, not covered?

This ironic island. Say high tech, with so much new technology available to simplify things , yet they cannot work effeciently still rely on human physical input like slaves. Ironic that in today’s computer age and automation , many Singapore workers still in low pay long hours jobs and being more stressed than their parents generations