Singapore-Young people suffering from mental health problems have one big concern-their parents find it.
Many tell counselors that they are most worried about what their parents know about their problems.
In some cases, parents may be the cause or contribution to the problem that the young person is working on.
Some parents believe that mental health issues can be a stigma that can affect their child’s education and work prospects, while others believe that their child is at home or religion. Prefers to solve problems with traditional teachers, experts and counselors told Sanda Imms.
Under the Children and Young Persons Act, people under the age of 14 who seek help need parental consent, said Asher Low, founder of the Youth Mental Health Charity Limitless. Charities need to redirect them to school counselors or other means, such as Tinkle Friend, because they are legally considered children.
Social workers need parental consent from ST to receive mental health services from social welfare agencies for people under the age of 18 to be referred elsewhere for other treatments according to the guidelines of the authorities. He said there was.
Law, who also works with schools, said some schools would notify parents if a student met a counselor. At other schools, counselors make decisions based on the severity of the child’s problems, but he added that this is a better approach.
Mr. Law said that some young people do not want to tell their parents because they are Paise (a Fujian word that means embarrassing).
However, many young people have parents who are actively contributing to mental health problems through abuse, poor relationships, and terrible parenting habits.
Breaking their confidentiality exacerbated the situation, which happens frequently, he said.
In one case, a teenager with anxiety disorder was accompanied by a counselor to seek help in the hospital’s accident emergency department.
Mr. Law said: “The doctor said that children under the age of 19 need to tell their parents. The teen soon had a panic attack and the counselor turned to help.
“They settled something and welcomed one parent, but the parent who was making the girl even more distressed was not involved.”
Ms Bettina Yeap, Program Head of Mental Health at Care Corner, tells some parents to tell their children to discuss the issue only with them, claiming that they have nothing “wrong”. did.
Regarding hesitating to use expert support, expert counselor Priyanisha said, “I think I’m worried about people saying that my family doesn’t look good. It’s difficult for children who want to ask for help but don’t want it because they get into trouble and are judged by their parents. “
Brian Poe, a senior clinical psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute for Mental Health, said the anecdotal evidence shows that some parents misunderstand their mental health status and are less sympathetic to their child’s distress. He said it suggests that it may not be shown.
“There is also a certain level of stigma for mental illness, which leads parents to deny their child’s condition.”
Ms. Priyahnisha said there is more work to be done to help parents become more open-minded about children seeking help with mental health issues. Public education and conversation can broaden awareness.
“Then it’s a privacy issue, rather than keeping it secret because young people are hiding it, and they have a space they’re happy to share comfortably,” she added.
Some parent STs said they admitted that they had to do more to support their children who might feel that some of their stress was coming from inside the house.
Lillian Kam, a 48-year-old housewife with a daughter and son in Secondary 1, said parents need to start treating mental health as a priority and better understand the problem.
“I don’t think it’s one of the factors affecting mental welfare, but it’s all combined. Parents, schools, and the media need to work together to get mental illness into society. I have.
“We need to see it as treatable and hopeful. Our kids need to know that it’s not something to hide and we can help,” she adds. rice field.
National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868 (8 am-12am)
Feiyue’s online counseling service: eC2.sg website (Monday to Friday, 10 am to 12 pm, 2 pm to 5 pm)
Institute of Mental Health Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Singapore Sumaritan: 1800-221-4444 (24 hours) / 1-767 (24 hours)
Singapore Mental Health Association: 1800-283-7019 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm)
Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6386-1928 / 6509-0271 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm)
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (Monday to Friday, 2:30 pm to 5 pm) / Tinkle Friend Website (Monday to Thursday, 2:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Friday, 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm)
TOUCHline (counseling): 1800-377-2252 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm)
Care Corner Counseling Center (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800 (every day from 10 am to 10 pm)
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