Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It has been forecast that Singapore will sink into its worst-ever economic recession since independence.

The impact of the pandemic is wide-ranging and multi-faceted.

Some have lost their loved ones, and others experience loneliness. Many have lost their jobs or have had to close their businesses and are concerned about how they are going to cope.

Worries about economic survival, anxiety about paying mounting bills and the stress of looking after children have exacerbated relational tensions in some families, which could have caused an increase in domestic violence (Family violence up amid circuit breaker, May 15).

Our individual and collective resources for dealing with these complex challenges are being tested severely.

When reserves of mental resilience fail, cases of anxiety and depression multiply, people turn to alcohol, and the risk of self-harm, suicide and other maladaptive behaviours increases (Don’t neglect mental health of society in move to new norm, by Ms Shirley Woon, June 23).

It is crucial for people to know that during such times of struggle, they should not be afraid to ask for help. As Singapore progressively eases restrictions, we should connect socially, get into activities that make us feel good and make sure we are eating and sleeping well.

It is also important for parents to have open conversations with young people about how they are feeling.

There are resources available to help anyone who is struggling with emotional issues.

Sherman Goh Keng Hwee

Note: This article was first posted on Straits Times Forum on 26th June 2020: link