Talk: If it’s not working, do something different (Singapore Mental Health Case)



Lee Yi Ping

The Singapore Mental Health Survey identified that locally, major mental illnesses developed by age 29 years. Yet, less than one third of those individuals with a mental health condition sought help. Poor mental health literacy, stigma and lack of access to help are common reasons cited for delays in help-seeking behavior for mental health concerns and illnesses. Set up in 2009, the Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) is a national youth mental health programme initiated under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, Singapore. CHAT’s lynchpin is the provision of free and confidential mental health assessments to help distressed individuals between the ages of 16 and 30 gain access to early treatment for various mental health concerns. More recently, CHAT started providing a Solution Focused Brief Therapy service over six sessions for CHAT assessed individuals who refused medical interventions for their mental health concerns. This talk aims to share a case of a CHAT assessed young person who refused medical interventions despite her deteriorating mental state due to depression – how she got “unstuck” and re-discovered her possibilities in life when her CHAT counsellor stayed true to one of SF’s key principles of “if it is not working, do something different.

A Certified Master Solution-Focused Practitioner by the International Alliance of Solution-Focused Teaching Institutes (IASTI), Yi Ping is also an experienced youth mental healthcare professional based in Singapore, with expertise on the identification and management of common youth mental illnesses such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders and psychosis. Having worked at the Institute of Mental Health’s Early Psychosis Intervention Programme (EPIP), Yi Ping has 8 years of extensive experience in clinical work that involves individualised case management, psychoeducation and counselling to individuals aged 16 to 40 distressed with first episode psychosis and their families. In her current role as Clinical Lead and Senior Youth Support Worker with EPIP’s outreach and assessment service, otherwise known as Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT), Yi Ping and her team actively seek innovative ways to engage young people in distress for early help-seeking behaviour for their mental health concerns. Besides conducting mental health assessments and brief counselling to distressed young people aged 16 to 30, Yi Ping also works closely with Institutes of Higher Learning and Voluntary Welfare Organizations to provide youth mental health education and training for young people, peer helpers, caregivers, educators, counsellors and social service professionals.

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