Mental healthcare is more important than ever. Be strong, be brave — free counselling services and helplines are within reach.
It’s almost a year since Circuit Breaker was first implemented (7 April 2020, to be exact). Nobody expected the COVID-19 pandemic to drag on for so long.
While the COVID-19 situation in Singapore is pretty well-controlled compared to many cities around the world, things have been undeniably stressful for the majority of us. Job losses, pay cuts, voluntary no-pay leave, job insecurity, mounting financial woes, battered businesses and industries are just the tip of the iceberg.
Unsurprisingly, there’s been a massive rise in the number of people seeking mental health-related help as more people are experiencing anxiety, depression and insomnia. Even counsellors themselves may be feeling extra stressed and vulnerable. The pandemic has also given rise to the newly-coined term ‘coronasomnia’.
If you’re currently facing difficulties and don’t know how to cope, don’t be afraid to seek help. Mental wellness is now more important than ever; anyone who requires help shouldn’t feel ashamed or stigmatised. Complimentary counselling services and helplines are available if you know where to look.
Free Counselling Services In Singapore
#1 Silver Ribbon Singapore
Silver Ribbon Singapore is on a mission to support the creation of a mentally friendly and healthy community. At its core, the organisation believes strongly in early detection and treatment. Complimentary basic counselling services are available to anyone who needs help. If necessary, their trained staff will also recommend appropriate treatment.
You can make an appointment and access the counselling services in person, or opt for phone counselling. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Silver Ribbon Singapore has also introduced online emotional support services via Zoom.
#2 Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
Providing support to people battling psychiatric, psychological or emotional issues as well as their families since 1981, the Singapore Association for Mental Health offers helpline and face-to-face counselling services for all mental health-related issues.
You might want to seek help if you face difficulties in your daily life, feel confused, anxious, stressed out or troubled. Start by dialing the organisation’s toll-free helpline at 1800 283 7019. While fees are by donation only, you can access the counselling services at no charge if your finances are tight.
#3 Fei Yue eCounselling Centre
To access the services, you’ll first need to register for an account. The eC2 team is more than happy to extend help and support to you. After registering, you’ll be able to talk to a trained counsellor about the issues and challenges you’re facing right away via the Quick Chat function no matter where you are during their operating hours.
#4 Care Corner Counselling Centre
If you know a loved one or friend who needs help but only speaks Mandarin, be sure to direct them to Care Corner Counselling Centre pronto. Trained counsellors are just a call away via the hotline 1800 3535 800.
Care Corner Counselling Centre believes in building resilience, instilling hope and transforming lives through specialised intervention services. The counselling services are available to individuals, couples and families all year round from 10am to 10pm (excluding public holidays).
#5 CPH Online Counselling
Is the pandemic taking a toll on your marriage and relationship with your children? If so, you might find the help you need from online counselling provided by the Community Psychology Hub. Backed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, CPH Online Counselling offers complimentary emotional support on divorce, marital and parenting issues via email or live chat. You can also choose to remain anonymous while you seek help.
Helplines are available, too
It is important to recognise that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, this important step is your golden ticket to a better tomorrow, no matter how down and out you may be feeling right now.
Besides the free counselling services we’ve listed above, know that support for individuals and caregivers are available through helplines as well.
AWARE offers counselling services at a fee for ladies above the age of 21. From trauma, crisis, family violence issues and marital issues to grief and loss, psychological issues, stress management issues, sexual assault and harassment and more, AWARE strives to support and empower women. The hotline 1800 777 5555 is available from 10am to 6pm on weekdays.
Samaritans Of Singapore
If you know someone who’s feeling desperate, downright hopeless or suicidal, direct them to Samaritans of Singapore, which offers a 24-hour suicide prevention helpline at 1800 221 4444. All information shared will remain confidential. The Samaritans of Singapore promises to provide a safe space for anyone and everyone who may need emotional support.
National CARE Hotline
As the pandemic drags on, you may find yourself suffering from financial distress, family and/or marital tensions. Consider reaching out to the National CARE Hotline at 1800 202 6868 if you need psychological and emotional support. Help is available via the hotline from 8am to midnight.
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By Denise Bay
While Denise has a thing for travel, K-dramas, 0% sugar bbt (with boba!), Japanese cuisine and flat white, her curious nature means all sorts of random tabs are open on her phone 24/7. She doesn’t like to pay full price for anything, too.