10 October 2023
10 October marks World Mental Health Day.
As our lives get busier by the day, it is not uncommon for us to overlook our mental health needs as we go through the daily grind.
Commemorating World Mental Health today reminds us to have a conversation with our inner selves. It gives us the opportunity to assess if negelected mental health needs are affecting our physical health. Some common physical manifestations of poor mental health are insomnia, chronic fatigue, or migraines.
OneCare's Medical Director, Dr Kenneth Koh, was recently invited to share his thoughts on Mental Health on CNA938's episode titled "Talking about your Mental Health". The following are his reflections on the conversation with CNA938:
I resonated deeply with the recent launch of Singapore's National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy during the interview. This strategy marks a momentous move towards acknowledging and addressing the complex mental health needs within our community. While many of our patients might not approach GPs expressly with mental health concerns, symptoms of mental health issues might first manifest as physical complaints. A patient might come in with complaints of chronic fatigue, insomnia, or gastrointestinal issues.
As I emphasised during the interview, this is a journey. The increasing demand for mental health care, combined with time constraints and limited resources, often put GPs in a tight spot. To enhance mental health delivery, GPs need more training, better triage systems, and practical solutions to address time constraints. Our interactions with patients need depth, keen observation, and the right questions to shift the dialogue from just symptoms to a holistic understanding of mental well-being.
In addition, we need to come together as a community to challenge the prevailing stigmas, dispel misconceptions, and normalise mental health discussions. Whether it’s within the confines of our clinics, in the comfort of our homes, or at workplaces, our collective voice for mental health needs amplification. And today, World Mental Health Day, reminds us of just that.”