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|Silver Ribbon Singapore|
Silver Ribbon Coalition was founded by Jean Singleton Liechty, J. D. in 1993 (www.silverribbon.org). With her kind consent, Silver Ribbon (Singapore) registered with Registry of Singapore on 21 Dec 2005 (ROS No 2210/2005) and invited President S R Nathan to grace its official launch on 4 Feb 2006.
Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness: it is vital to individuals, families and societies.
Mental health is described by the World Health Organisation as:
"... a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."
In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation for the well-being and effective functioning of Individuals and communities.
On 19 Nov 2011, the Singapore Mental Health Study, a three-year, $6.9 million nationwide study which involved 6,616 people being interviewed and led by Institute of Mental Health, announced that more than one in 10 people in Singapore will be stricken by mental illness in their lifetime and many are likely to face depression, the commonest mental illness here. It is projected to affect 170,000 adults, with more women affected than men. While mental illness starts occurring in most people in their 20s, two in three never seek help, and even those who eventually do take years to do so. Others may be affected by alcohol abuse or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), an anxiety affliction characterised by obsessions, compulsive rituals, as well as intrusive thoughts and impulses.
Stigma that surrounds mental illness often prevents people from seeking treatment and the consequences of untreated mental illness can be shattering, leading to unnecessary disability, homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and even suicide. Silver Ribbon (Singapore) believes that the earlier an illness is detected and treated, the better the treatment outcome.
Exactly what is stigma? Stigma means a mark or sign of shame, disgrace of disapproval, of being shunned or rejected by others. It emerges when people feel uneasy or embarrassed to talk about behaviour they perceive as different.
Discrimination and misconceptions remain among the most significant barriers to people with mental illness being able to actively participate in the community and gaining access to the services they need. Also, it is not only people with mental illness who experience discriminations and stigma. Rejection of people with mental illness inevitably spills over to the caregivers and family members.
Therefore, since its inception, Silver Ribbon (Singapore) organises at least 2 mental health events monthly and commemorates World Mental Health Day annually, collaborating with local & oversea mental health organizations, consumers, caregivers, government agencies, grassroots organizations, religious groups, school institutions, voluntary welfare organizations and media to reach out to the community of all age groups through innovative means.
In fact, with the support of its partnering organizations, Silver Ribbon (Singapore) launched
- the FIRST mental health organization in Singapore to connect everyone through FACEBOOK
- the FIRST Stamp Out Stigma Mental Health Carnival
- the FIRST song writing competition on mental issues
- the FIRST Silver Ribbon Rock Gig
- the FIRST Silver Ribbon Film Festival
- the FIRST Musical Production
- the FIRST Stamp Out Stigma Graphic Art Competition
- the FIRST Wellness Studio to promote positive mental health
- the FIRST art exhibition to showcase consumersí artworks at the Singapore Art Museum
- the FIRST Champion of Mental Health Award to acknowledge the effort of individuals and organizations in mental health awareness and more
- the FIRST Silver Ribbon Walk, involving 2 ministers, 7 members of parliaments, and hundreds participants of different backgrounds
- the FIRST Silver Ribbon Human Chain Formation, involving 2 members of parliaments, grassroots leaders, religious leaders, students, patients, caregivers, staffs of mental health organizations
- the FIRST Great Via Ferrata Wall Challenge, involving more than 20 popular artistes and radio DJs