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07 Jan 2020

6th Jan 2020

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Yip Pin Xiu

Nominated MP

 

Question No. 3368

To ask the Minister for Health what are the measures to ensure that differently-abled individuals such as individuals who are deaf, mute or autistic receive quality mental health care and support that meet their unique needs.


Written
Answer


1      Persons with different abilities are handled by various groups of healthcare professionals in the public healthcare system. Efforts have been made to facilitate early detection and referral for management of mental health conditions for all individuals in Singapore, including for persons with special needs, who may have higher rates of co-occurring mental health conditions than the general population. For example, general practitioners are trained to diagnose and manage stable mental health conditions while psychiatrists and psychologists manage conditions that require more specialized management. Community outreach teams also reach out to individuals who are at risk of, and diagnosed with, mental health conditions, to provide support for these individuals in the community.

2      More specific help is available to individuals with different sensory needs. For example, students with hearing impairments are assisted by school psychologists in their respective special schools to support their mental health needs.

3      Children with developmental and intellectual disabilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), can access services by the Child Development Programme (CDP), where a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals provide a holistic approach of assessment, diagnosis, and interim therapy, including attending to behavioural and mental health needs. The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) has also set up a Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) to provide professional services for children aged 6-18 years with developmental delay and/or intellectual disability with co-morbid mental health conditions. Adults with intellectual disability and/or ASD can also be referred to the Adult Neurodevelopmental Service (ANDS) at IMH, which carries out assessment and treatment of behavioural issues or co-existing mental health conditions in these individuals.

4      MOH will continue to work with our healthcare providers and partners to ensure that every individual has access to quality mental health care, including for those who are differently-abled, and to ensure that the care and support is tailored to the unique needs of this group.