Singaporeans are becoming more family-oriented and mindful of their personal relations with their families and loved ones as a result of the pandemic, according to a survey.
In a recent survey conducted by Blackbox Singapore in partnership with FWD Insurance, 60 per cent of Singaporeans said that being mindful of their personal relations with their families and loved ones is one of the good changes brought about by the pandemic.
The study focused on global insights into mental health and was conducted across 16 markets in Europe, America, Australia, and Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia.
While the study highlighted the positive outcome family-wise for Singapore, it might not be the same for of its neighbours.
Asians and family responsibilities
When asked about stressors that impact mental health, Asians cited increasing family responsibilities and work stress as two of their top stressors.
Meanwhile, Westerners said they are more worried about rising inflation and savings.
Additionally, Asians are also more worried about the future of their families compared to Westerners with 27 per cent of Asians citing it as their stressors compared to 21 per cent of people from the West.
In Singapore, however, the recent Singapore Longitudinal Early Development Study found that 41 per cent of families said that the pandemic improved relationships among family members, and 71 per cent of respondents spent more time together.
The study was supported by the Social Science Research Council and was led by Professor Jean Yeung, founding director of the Centre for Family and Population Research at the National University of Singapore.
Mental health prevalence
According to the Blackbox-FWD survey, 65 per cent of respondents in Asia believe that mental health issues will be one of the most critical issues in 2023. In Southeast Asia alone, one in seven people, or roughly 14 per cent, live with a mental health condition.
In the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) latest Singapore Mental Health Study, the number of people with mental disorders who were not seeking help remains high due to various barriers and treatment gaps.
Challenges in seeking help
In the Blackbox survey, the cost of mental health treatment remains the biggest factor globally (41%) and in Asia (40%).
Other barriers to seeking treatment for mental health challenges in Asia include the following internal and external factors:
Difficulty speaking to anyone (34%)
Not wanting anyone else to know (21%)
Uncomfortable seeking help (28%)
Not knowing where to find practitioners (25%)
Not understanding mental health challenges enough (16%)
The survey also said that Asians tend to prefer the self-help route while Westerners are more comfortable with discussing mental health concerns openly.
Insurance options for mental health concerns
With treatment costs becoming a major barrier to seeking help, having insurance that covers mental health treatments might be a big help as 76 per cent in Asia still want to explore insurance options for mental health concerns as per the Blackbox-FWD survey.
According to the report, FWD Insurance is creating suitable insurance products and awareness about their offerings through targeted campaigns too.
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